BT branding strategy with EE?

BTOpenreach engineering visit Install ofcom strategic review

Will BT keep the EE brand?

Picked up this little gem from Twitter. It’s a good question because it opens up a discussion regarding BT’s strategy post acquisition. Assuming it all goes through.

When BT bought Plusnet it was convenient to keep the brands separate. Plusnet became BT’s “value” brand although it is interesting no note that one might consider some aspects of their service delivery, such as UK call centres, to be premium (BT broadband call centres are in India).

EE brand image is very much consumer value oriented and at least on the broadband side is a direct competitor to Plusnet.  Plusnet doesn’t have TV in its bundle (ok you can buy BT Sport if you also happen to be a Sky TV customer) but you get the impression that the EE TV offering is very much a last gasp blimey we need TV or we ain’t in business pitch.

BT is buying EE for its mobile base and not for any other reason. BT is also a major infrastructure provider to EE through BT Wholesale which supplies thousands of Ethernet circuits to EE cell sites so there will be efficiencies there.

So the question is would the EE brand remain? If I were BT I’d want the BT brand to be at the forefront of the market. With 24.5 million mobile subscribers EE has many more end users that BT’s fixed line services (BT annual report says 2013/14 broadband tails = 7.5m Openreach “broadband tails” 18.5m – presumably you don’t add the two together). Too much scope for confusion I’d think. BT will want one big brand, eased in over a two year window perhaps. Integration would be slightly complicated by the fact that EE are still probably in the process of integrating TMobile and Orange.

On the other hand I really know nooothiiing. Otherwise I’d be running BT and dictating this to my PA’s PA from the back of my Rolls Royce.

In answer to Fraz’ question I imagine he will still be able to source low cost broadband through some BT brand or another. If he can’t he could always take his business elsewhere.

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