Launching the EE brand

Mobile operator Everything Everywhere, which operates the Orange and T-Mobile networks, is launching the new EE brand and network today.

With the new brand, created by Wolff Olins, rolling out in 700 stores across the UK, as well as above-the-line and digital, we spoke to EE’s Steven Day and Chris Moody from Wolff Olins about how the brand was developed and implemented.


It’s a rebrand – and it’s a completely new brand

EE holding website
EE holding website

As well as being a standalone consumer-facing brand, EE replaces the previous Everything Everywhere corporate brand (developed by Figtree), while the Orange and T-Mobile brands will operate as proposition brands within EE.

Steven Day, chief of brand and communications at EE, says, ‘We looked all around the world for other examples of something similar to what we were doing.

‘No-one has launched a new brand alongside two pre-existing brands at the same time as changing the name of their company and changing the name of their network. It’s completely unorthodox.

‘The existing Orange and T-Mobile brands will continue to run – we debated that long and hard as we could have shut them off completely. There are 27 million people who use those brands though, and we need to keep the signals of them out there.

‘Balancing the brands in terms of graphics was quite simple, but for things like store design and website design it was quite hard.

‘We want EE it be the overall statement and the route in for all our customers – it’s about having a confident brand.’

EE campaign image

Source: Wolff Olins

EE campaign image

It’s more than just a logo

Chris Moody, creative director at Wolff Olins, says, ‘This is one of those jobs that comes along maybe once every 20 years. We had the opportunity and a client willing to push things – this was never going to be just a corporate identity change.

‘The central proposition is around the idea of “now you can”, encouraging people to participate and do things. We also wanted to communicate the idea of helping people with their digital lives.

‘Bringing that to life isn’t just a case of creating a new logo – you need to create something that enables you to tell stories.

‘Everything in the branding is born from the idea of a particle – the dots of light that make up the network. These dots can become a letter, a font and an icon.

‘The idea is that you should be able to recognise what you’re looking at even if you’re just looking at a couple of dots – that’s very important when you have an identity that works across a digital framework and an analogue framework.’

EE fact sheet
EE fact sheet

It had to look different from the rest of the market

Day says, ‘We tried many different colours and obviously researched the rest of the market. There are a lot of slabs of primaries around and also very strong colourways.

‘But if you look at who is playing at the fresher end – the more citrusy colour tone or value – there was nobody with that zing or standout

Moody says, ‘It was quite important to have a sort of palette as well – so with this we’ve got yellow, grey and also an ivory colour that supports them, as well as the whiteness of the particles.

‘If you’re a brand in the world of entertainment and communications then you’ve got to be quite Poppy – popular as in people like you and Pop in terms of standout and being bold and confident.’

EE branding shown on Huawei E392 Mobile Broadband USB Stick
EE branding shown on Huawei E392 Mobile Broadband USB Stick

Elements of the brand were ‘trialled’ beforehand

Prior to the EE launch, the Everything Everywhere brand was rolled out across around 30 stores. The Everything Everywhere brand will now be replaced by EE. Retail consultancy The One Off, which worked on the Everything Everywhere stores, also worked on the EE retail designs.

Day says, ‘We couldn’t say it at the time of course, but the 30 or so Everything Everywhere stores that were dotted around the country were trial stores for EE.

‘We could look at things like the customer journey and the staff training, and also vary these across different locations. It’s one of those things you simply couldn’t do under an existing brand cover.’

EE holding website
EE holding website

The logistics were daunting

Day says, ‘The brand is rolling out across 700 stores today, as well as in above the line advertising and online.

‘We’ve worked with around 12 different partners [for example The One-Off on retail designs, Sapient on interactive designs and Poke on social media work]. We’ve been a bit like mission control in organising all of this and allowing people to play with the brand.

‘It was also such a rapid process. We had a design concept around 18 months ago, and the locked-in designs in Spring, and we always had this launch date in mind.

‘In terms of the store design, for example, there’s no way we could get everything to change in a day. So we went round most of the estate, starting around five months ago and started painting it in EE colours and then reapplying Orange and T-Mobile livery over it.

‘Then we could whip off the covers and have the big brand reveal all at once.’

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