Everything Everywhere stumbles – the penalty of a silly name?

Everything Everywhere, the amalgam of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK, has reported a dip in both profit and revenue and announced it is to cull a further 1,200 jobs on top of the 3,500 that have gone already.

CEO Tom Alexander has produced the usual business school guff about this “reinforcing its leadership” and equipping it to face the future in fine fettle but something is clearly amiss.

Is it just its spectacularly silly and pompous name?

After all it can’t be easy to sell your mobile products if people feel embarrassed about what they’re buying. The company still trades with its two brands, in itself a debatable decision. Orange, back in the days when Robin Wight at WCRS was telling it what to do, used to be a terrific brand but it’s lost a lot of that through being costly, poor customer service and the inability to match O2 in the innovation stakes.

T-Mobile was always a price-driven makeweight in the market. Surely it would be easier to pick one brand, presumably Orange, and concentrate on that. Maybe some dingbat will one day decide to drop them both and rebrand the products as Everything Everywhere. Just imagine going into Carphone Warehouse and asking for an Everything Everywhere….

So who did pick the stupid name? Mr Alexander is presumably not wholly innocent in this regard. Or maybe it was a committee from the company’s French and German owners, France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom? Whose proficiency is clearly in their native languages.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.