Sunday, June 19, 2011

It is not that easy to Zap a brand

Last year, the Zap mobile money service provided by Zain in Africa, received the award as the best mobile money service for the unbanked at the MWC in Barcelona (Read here). This year, the service won an innovation award at the same event for a virtual card product (Read here).

Since then a few things happened that could have an impact on the future of Zap. George Held (generally recognised as the main driver behind the roll-out of Zap in Zain) left to join Etisalat as the head of products. Furthermore the Africa operations of Zain (where the main roll-out of Zap was spearheaded) was sold to Airtel from India. All of the Zain operations in Africa has now been rebranded to Airtel and the business philosophy of the company has been changed to aggressively compete for marketshare.

As a result of these changes, all Zap money services were also rebranded as Airtel Money with immediate effect. The Zap brand literally disappeared overnight (Read here). The Zap brand was so powerful, that it is extremely difficult to kill as even in official websites of Airtel, it is still referred to as Zap (Read here)

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