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Case: Sistema Telecom 2006


2006


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THE STORY

This is said, by its makers, to be Russia's first umbrella branding exercise, and it is a particularly clear and dramatic one.  Appropriately it's an egg, a friendly symbol of birth and potential. (And in Russia, I'm told, eggs can also connote leadership. Think Faberg.)

AFK Sistema is Russia's largest non-natural-resources corporation, and 80% of it is a collection of some 50 communications companies with little tradition of collaboration and no sense of 'family.'  To manage them more efficiently AFK created the Sistema Telecom subsidiary in 1998, but until now it has remained effectively invisible in the marketplace.

In 2001, Sergei Shchebetov (MBA Stanford '94) joined AFK to head planning. He built a clearer strategic vision of a coherent multi-product telecommunication group leveraging common leadership, technology and communications platforms, and the determination to make it happen. In April 2005 he was assigned to Sistema Telecom as First Deputy General Director, launched a rebranding initiative, and in January 2006 he assumed control as General Director and CEO.

In August 2005, Shchebetov chose Wolff Olins to help him express, or rather to implement, his vision through branding. A new visual identity would be imposed on the four principal companies that he would use to redefine the corporation's composition... MTS (in Cyrillic MTC) in cellular, MGTS in wired lines, the internet provider Stream, and Comstar in alternative technologies like fiberoptics. (Later a fifth unit, Golden Line, would get its own egg and color).

Using solid squares, one for the common egg and the second for a unit name, Wolff Olins designed a graphic identity strong enough to tolerate color coding of the units without compromising the family brand. For marketing applications, the designers are promoting aggressive and playful uses of eggs both as a window for graphics, and as  three dimensional objects.

Shchebetov summarizes his intent: "Our new brand symbolizes unity, reliability and trust. It represents perfection, novelty and expectation of a miracle. And most importantly it means potential -- the potential of our companies, our experts, the Group as a whole.  In practice, the uniform brand is called not only to unite the companies inside the Group, but also to present us to the market in a new fashion." Tony Spaeth


CREDITS

Wolff Olins, UK


CASE INFO

Submitted by: Tony Spaeth, 13/11/2006
Status: Estimated by Tony Spaeth
Category: Mobile Telecommunications
Country (HQ): Russia


MATRIX DATA

DRIVERS

  

TOOLS

Strategic driver: 100%   
Change internal culture
  Refresh & redirect competitive energy
 10%  x  Identifier tactics: Logo change: Symbol-dominant
    x  Identity system elements: Visual system: Typography
    x  Identity system elements: Visual system: Palette
    x  Identity system elements: Unit signature system: Visual endorsement
    x  Change event : High visibility: Campaign
Change internal culture
  Transfer affiliation from unit to parent
 30%  x  Identifier tactics: Logo change: Symbol-dominant
    x  Identity system elements: Visual system: Typography
    x  Identity system elements: Visual system: Palette
    x  Identity system elements: Unit signature system: Visual endorsement
    x  Change event : High visibility: Campaign
Change perceived composition
  Redefine the defining units
 10%  x  Identity system elements: Verbal elements: Principal unit names or competence list
    x  Situation facts: Subcorporate facts: Defining units
    x  Change event : Medium visibility: Launch event
Change perceived composition
  Modify parental 'umbrella' presence
 50%  x  Identifier tactics: Logo change: Symbol-dominant
    x  Identity system elements: Visual system: Typography
    x  Identity system elements: Visual system: Palette
    x  Identity system elements: Unit signature system: Visual endorsement
    x  Change event : High visibility: Campaign