3 at Last, 3 at Laaast!

We've already got One in Austria, now we're going to have 3 in nine countries. That's the number -- sorry, name -- Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. has chosen for its 3G businesses.

"Now you have heard that our name is 3, we hope you cannot forget it," said Hutchison's CEO Canning Fok. (Actually, Unstrung thinks "Canning Fok" is harder to forget.)

Unfortunately, as the number -- sorry, name -- was released early because of "speculation relating to leaks in the market" (always a problem in Unstrung's local corner store), we don't know what the 3 will look like. Yet. Though we are sure it will be colorful.

Although the number -- sorry, name -- will be the same in each of the countries (Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Sweden, and the U.K.), each will have a localized Web address. We know four of them -- www.three.co.uk (UK), www.tre.it (Italy), www.drei.at (Austria), and www.three.com.au (Australia) -- and a spokeswoman assures us the others have been registered. We hope, for 3's sake, she's right.

The brains behind the number -- sorry, name -- is Doug Hamilton, who, before joining Hutchison Whampoa, was creative director at brand specialist Wolff Olins for seven years. His previous branding achievements include Orange, so he's got a bright future in mobile at least.

So what do you, the fine readers of Unstrung, think? Is this brand a proud peacock, or a bit of a turkey? Add your view to the message board below.

For the record, we at Unstrung wonder what will happen to 3 when the industry moves to 4G [ed. note: Leave it!].

— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung
Doctorw 12/4/2012 | 10:09:42 PM
re: 3 at Last, 3 at Laaast! Definitely not a turkey...3 smacks of the same gebius that made orange fly...watch the space carefully it will be cool
ITmonger 12/4/2012 | 10:09:23 PM
re: 3 at Last, 3 at Laaast! I would not argue the genius Hutchison has show in its innovation, however the same question occurred to me that Unstrung editorial posed; what happens with the name when we move to 4g? Hey 3's been announced, but don't lose sight of what ingenious marketing can do by creating an appropriately timed leak to create industry buzz that's free, the media can be chumps it when it thinks it has a scoop. Or in this instance maybe it's not so ingenious branding?
rebecca - benchmark-it 12/4/2012 | 10:08:49 PM
re: 3 at Last, 3 at Laaast! To me, with its current technology bias, "3" says temporary - a strategy not new to Hutchison. The difference is last time Hutchison had a brand (Orange) to sell - a brand worth investing in for the long term. Perhaps Hutchison's choice of names is indicative of its long term take on the market - fewer established operators with established brands - brands less likely to be discarded when these operators buy up other operators (such as 3?). In the meantime let's hope the brand identity is "cool" - doing more to speak to customers than the name itself.
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