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Ma Marble

Phil Harvey
12/8/2005

4:30 PM -- Have you seen the new AT&T logo?

I'm no branding expert, but I am a consumer with a halfway decent memory.

Here's what a picture of AT&T's new logo says to me: "Here at AT&T, we look a little different, but we haven't changed. We're not going to, either. Marbles, anyone?"

Could any company have done a worse job of repositioning itself as a leader in the new world of communications? It looks like they just took their old logo and had some kids at Google redraw it.

And what says, "We're the future" better than a 100+ year-old brand?

As a consumer, AT&T is the company that wanted to be my cable company in San Francisco (and left me stranded), wanted to be my fixed access wireless broadband company in Dallas (and left me stranded), and wanted to be my cell phone provider all over (and sold me back to the RBOCs).

Again, speaking as a consumer, AT&T tries lots of stuff but ultimately reverts back to being an old phone company. How's a translucent Ma Bell marble going to smooth over those rough memories?

As a current SBC customer, I'm quite happy with my phone company. Sure, they won't tell their telemarketing company that they can't reach my house with DSL, which results in a pointless sales call every 48 hours, but, other than that, SBC's okay.

But what will I feel when Ma Marble's new logo shows up on my bill? Here's what I'll think: "Oh, great. I'm on AT&T again. Now they're going get out of the phone business, too."

Looking to the future, here's the real question: Would I ever buy TV service from a company called AT&T?

The answer: Of course. But first they have to change their name to DISH Network.

— Phil Harvey, Bland Brand Editor, Light Reading

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