MTN recently announced a rebranding exercise that will see the companymove from being a telecommunications giant to becoming a “digital-first”company. Now, this is not the kind of rebranding that merely sees surfacechanges made to names, logos or designs. There is more in this than meets the eye.
MTN was introduced in what we may rightly call the ‘analogue era’. This was a time when mobile phone penetration was at its lowest, and in fact, it wasa reserve for the high-income earners who thought they could part with a significant amount of their income to tap into a communication network. Now more than two decades old, MTN’s rebrand is addressing the reality that the market they were dealing with at their inception is distinctly different fromthat of the current dispensation.
In truth, while MTN may have started as a telco, telecommunications is just a small part of what the company currently does, and as the technology space evolves further, it will become even smaller. In earlier years, having a mobile phone was really about making voice calls and exchanging text messagesvia SMS. Today, some people hardly even remember that these are features ontheir mobile phones.
The present day mobile phone users spend much of their time in the social and digital world, and so their needs are entirely different and digital. When you consider this, it begins to make sense why Facebook would rebrand into Meta, in line with these digitally driven audiences. They are immersed in their digital spaces and exploring more and more of the Internet.
Also, the consumers now are younger, modern, dynamic and very “digital”.The brand that will keep up with these consumers must think out of the box, actout of the box, be out of the box. This is the new MTN, Android you might notice that the MTN oval-shaped logo has been brought out of the box – literallyspeaking. It has become a digital-first company; “a digital citizen, open to change, young at heart, inviting, digitallydynamic and progressive.”
Does this mean MTN has changed, as consumers know it?
The answer could be both yes and no. As a brand that is dynamic, simple and evolving, MTN is becoming more than a telco. The connectivity business which has been driven for the last two decades is now going to be the foundation on which the future is built.
MTN “Ambition 2025,” says the strategy is to lead digital solutions for Africa’s progress, and a company that will lead the digital transformation in Africa has to be doing more than telecommunication, hence the assertion; “being a telco is just a small part of whowe are.”
The ‘everywhere you go’ signature line will not change, but where it has been used in the past to referto the seamless network coverage, it now means more. It is now indicative of MTN’s commitment to Africa’s digital progress.
The transformation is a part of the company reinventing itself, and that will not be sudden. As old branding and branded items are turned over, the new identity will emerge across Nigeria.
As the leading telecommunications provider in Nigeria, MTN has builtstrong operations over the yearsu and even has the largest fixed and mobilenetwork in Africa. Demographics show that the large connected registered customer base is made up of younger consumers requiring a simple and emotive MTN experience. The customers are seeking a brand that not only fulfils their connectivity needs but stays digitally responsive as they evolve.
“This rebrand highlights MTN’s commitment tocontinuously evolve and explore innovative initiatives that provide value toall our stakeholders. A pioneer of progress from the beginning, MTN looks todrive this progress further through action and doing. In delivering its vision, MTN aims to drive a positive shift in Africa and harness the continent’sboundless opportunity,” she continued.
As a digital-first company, MTN will be providing the platform upon which leading digital platforms in Africa will be built and run. MTN is transitioning from telco to being “digital-first” to provide several solutionsfor Nigeria’s ICT industry.
And as the everyday consumer becomes a digital citizen, MTN will be inthe digital space enabling and connecting lives with its digital platforms.