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BT Group Turning EE into its Flagship Brand for UK Consumers

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022 (2:23 pm) - Score 19,536
bt ee shop front

Telecoms giant BT (EE) has today announced another shake-up of its branding, which in simple terms will see EE – over time – become the “flagship brand for our consumer customers” (i.e. converged broadband and mobile plans etc.) and BT become the flagship brand for their Enterprise and Global units.

The announcements (here and here) are somewhat laced with a heavy dose of self praise, as well as a certain degree of ambiguity, which makes it difficult to identify the specifics of what is actually being announced and to summarise them below.

NOTE: The main focus here seems to be on the BT and EE brands, with Openreach continuing to focus on network build and Plusnet continuing to “serve customers with basic no-frills broadband and landline.” Just as they did before.

On the consumer side, there’s a clear recognition that having both BT and EE in an already crowded market – doing the same sort of things as each other – means “we must have two of everything, and that makes life harder for our customers and our people – two accounts, two apps, two product roadmaps, and multiple systems … we need to simplify things, for everyone.” This is a valid point.

However, at the same time, they state that the BT brand will still play an “important but more focused role” for consumer customers on standalone broadband and landline services, which suggests – to us at least – that EE won’t be the flagship brand for all consumer products (as above, there’s a clear reference to EE focusing on convergence products). BT further adds that “nothing will change for our BT customers.

Suffice to say, it’s unclear how BT will resolve those earlier gripes about duplication if there are still so many points of cross-over between the two brands and consumer products. BT also talks about its plans to launch new products and services, including “ones that go beyond the connectivity we provide today,” although this “won’t happen overnight“. No solid examples of potential new products are given.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT Consumer, said:

“This is where our new chapter begins. From today, we’re starting the preparations to make the EE brand our flagship brand for Consumer customers focusing on convergence and future services.

While retaining much of the identity that is instantly recognisable to millions today, the new EE will evolve and stretch into new areas and be focused on convergence of networks, devices and new services beyond connectivity.

Why EE? Well – our customers tell us that EE is synonymous with the best mobile connectivity and its popularity in the broadband market is growing steadily as we’ve driven awareness that EE’s fibre network is powered by BT.

While EE’s rural mobile coverage spreads further than any other operator, EE is also favoured by customers in our towns and cities – which is where there is an overwhelming demand for multiple services beyond fixed lines.

Since EE launched in 2012, it has captured the hearts of customers across all demographics – topping the service charts, with a strong brand that can stretch into new areas beyond connectivity as well as offering the best network and service.

The BT brand will still play an important but more focused role for Consumer customers on standalone broadband and landline services. BT Sport will continue to broadcast the best in sport, as it prepares for its own new journey, in a joint venture with Warner Bros. Discovery. And Plusnet, our value brand, will continue to serve customers with basic no-frills broadband and landline.

Nothing will change for our BT customers. We will continue to serve and support them through our unrivalled nationwide sales and service with local presence all over the UK, just as we do today.”

Apparently, the operator will share more about their launch plans “later this year“, or “over the coming months“, depending on which paragraph you read. It’s all a bit vague, albeit also quite interesting. The biggest risk here is that in trying to simplify their business, they might inadvertently end up causing more confusion for consumers. This is probably why the transition will be a gradual one.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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39 Responses
  1. biscuitbrew says:

    Sounds like maybe this needed more time in the oven, given how vague and lacking detail it is surely they could have waited and announced when things were a bit clearer.

  2. Yatta! says:

    I’d say just dump the whole ‘Everything Everywhere’ brand, always seemed to be a rushed mediocre boardroom plucked name to me.

    1. Chris W says:

      They stopped using Everything Everywhere ages ago and it was quite short-lived, it’s just been EE for quite some time.

  3. Dan says:

    I don’t get big deal with marketing but calling a service XGS-PON IPV4/6 Broadband probably wouldn’t work with the 99%.LOL!

    1. Jason says:

      haha you’d be surprised… in some markets (e.g., Germany) they always referred to 3G as UMTS, 4G as LTE and the infamous “fibre” broadband as VDSL…
      But yeah… XGS-PON IPV4/6 is a bit much 😀

    2. S.G says:

      Actually I think it would. I’d very much prefer to buy FTTP 900/100 rather than mega-/hyper-/ultra-/superduperfast broadband (which I still btw am unable to differentiate).

  4. sam says:

    I am even more confused, does this mean normal consumers will be put under EE?

    1. Yatta! says:

      That’s my understanding of it.

    2. Mml says:

      All I care about is being able to keep the BT Wi-Fi after getting transferred to EE.

    3. Curious says:

      Nah, BT isn’t changing into EE for consumer BB / analogue phone line services. As this states: “The BT brand will still play an important but more focused role for Consumer customers on standalone broadband and landline services.”

      I think this means that if resi folk wanna buy bundled services from BT (BB / Mobile / data / etc.) this will be from EE.

      “EE will over time become the flagship brand for our consumer customers: the go to brand for converged broadband and mobile plans”

      This provides further info on what ‘converged’ services are: https://www.bt.com/about/bt/policy-and-regulation/keeping-the-uk-connected/converged-networks

  5. Ex Telecom Engineer says:

    Wasn’t this a release, by Marc Allera, in a blog post? It wont contain any detail, since it isn’t an official company statement. My guess is,there’ll be more detail in the Q4 FY22 Results on the 12th May.

  6. A little advice says:

    You retired a millionaire 8 years ago, remember?

    https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2022/04/union-rejects-revised-bt-pay-offer-and-preps-strike-ballot.html#comment-260798

    Should be able to walk any credit check a mobile or broadband company put on front of you. Millions of minion employees manage it.

    1. TG says:

      Yeah Carl, he’s a millionaire don’t you know!? Always said to my Mrs if I won millions and retired I’d sit on forums pretending to be a billionaire. The comments you post on other articles tell me different anom.

    2. CarlT says:

      Everyone knows its you Carl xxx

  7. Peter F says:

    BT/EE is a little confusing to consumers, If you got EE mobile you can get discounted broadband but if you want TV then you need to go BT broadband :/

    1. AT says:

      Anon, are you Pete?

  8. Martin says:

    Both of them are as bad as each other, both from my personal experience give terrible customer service and bt should be stripped of their monopoly

  9. Not BT says:

    This is a tupe of BT consumer staff into EE. The rest may not make sense because they are hyping this into something they have not got into shape yet, perhaps to distract employees from concerns around this TUPE?

    Another BT business wrapped up in a silo. How long until the for sale sign goes up?

  10. Mark says:

    I would just get rid of EE and brand it all BT. So if I have BT broadband and landline will I stay BT or be changed to EE? I am confused.

  11. Ray Woodward says:

    So BT is total mud, we’ll quietly drop it and ue EE!

  12. BTee says:

    My suspicion is this:

    If you are a consumer and have a BT branded product then you will eventually be transferred to the EE brand. Whether that is at contract renewal, service withdrawal (e.g. the gradual withdrawal of POTS landlines or ADSL) or something else may vary, depending on your circumstances. Eventually, the BT brand will be phased out for consumers and you will have EE and Plusnet only.

    If you are a business, then the BT brand will still apply for you.

    Just my thoughts, no idea if it’s correct.

    1. Walnut Cake says:

      Sounds about right to me and what I thought reading too.

      > BT for business, enterprise, public sector & wholesale.
      > EE for consumer.
      > Plusnet as the flanker.

      I’ve seen EE adverts on every site where I’ve disabled adblock and none for BT, leading me to think it will 100% be the consumer division/subsidiary.

  13. Serf says:

    EE Everything Everywhere is a relatively new brand launched in 2012. It’s better for BT to move all its customers under BT. BT brand launched in 1981 and so has far better and larger brand awareness.

  14. Laurence 'GreenReaper' Parry says:

    Any bets on this being a way for BT to fire a bunch of people and rehire or replace them on cheaper contracts doing the same jobs with EE?

    1. Disgruntled ex BT says:

      Having recently been told we are being made redundant by outsourcing our jobs on a teams call no less. I really can’t see the survival of openreach much longer.
      We have the hatchet man Adam Crozier bought in to fire a whole bunch of people so they can move jobs to India.
      BT under this new management has gone downhill for employees and I wholly suspect strike action will happen soon.

    2. Peter says:

      You hit the nail on the head. The Communication Workers Union sent this to its members:

      “It has been announced by BT today that EE will become its flagship brand and all future Consumer marketing will be based on EE products. As part of these changes it is their intention to transfer all BT PLC Consumer employees into EE under a TUPE.

      We appreciate that this will cause uncertainty and concern for members. The CWU National Team want reassure members that we will do everything in our power to protect your terms and conditions, collective agreements and future employment.
      It is our intention over the coming weeks to keep members updated on the progress of discussions with BT and that you are fully informed and involved throughout.”

  15. Martin says:

    My reading of this is a move towards two brands for consumers, EE & Plusnet. Not sure if there are overlaps between the business products and retail products in all brands.

    The interesting thing will be which products got moved to EE and which to Plusnet.

    I know of “proverbial (and not so) old ladies/men” who stick to POTS from BT because they like a paper bill through the post. They would be obvious customers for the value brand, but needing a paper bill would push them to the premium brand category. Regulators and politicians will doubtless be keeping an eye on these developments too.

  16. Richard says:

    the smart price network propped up by three since it it started LOL ,, had more outages than all the networks combine lol

  17. zxcvbnm says:

    Freeserve-Wanadoo-Orange-EE-BT-EE That was millions of pounds of branding well spent wasn’t it.

    1. Kyle says:

      I was always a fan of Wanadoo and its branding.

  18. Sunil Sood says:

    To me, BT is the much more established brand in the consumer market.

    I agree with some of the other comments, that BT would be better to phase out the EE brand if they wanted to choose between the two.

    It sounds to me as if this decision hasn’t been properly thought out and if introduced will probably be reversed at some stage..

    Of course, Marc Allera came to BT via the takeover of EE so it may have to wait until he has moved on

  19. ad47uk says:

    Is EE as bad as BT? I was with BT years ago in the ADSL days, customer service was awful, worse than Talk Talk if that is possible, from what I have heard, it has not improved and also way over priced.
    I am with plusnet, which sadly also belong to BT, but at least it is run as a separate company and I have been with them for about7 years and have been ok for me. Even customer service, but I have heard that it is not as good as it used to be. I have another 14 months or so on my contract and then I will decide what I am doing, we have an alt network offering fibre to the home coming, and they should be up and running around here by then, but if Plusnet gives me a good offer I think I will stay with them, not really bothered about 150Mb/s

  20. SIMON GP GEOGHEGAN says:

    By coincidence I asked BT about my package, and I cancelled BT TV part. This left me with Broadband and Mobile and I agreed this. Later that day I got a text saying “Sorry you are leaving BT Mobile, give this code to your new supplier” Then the next day I received an EE Sim Card and welcome package. I had NOT agreed to change to EE Phones and I have now had this reversed

  21. spotify95 says:

    Maybe EE might now come along and fix its broken mast in Higahm Ferrers (NN10) along with giving usable indoor coverage to Rushden Lakes Shopping Center, and increasing coverage in Leicester (LE3 and LE1) to competer with the superior O2/Vodafone!

  22. Mel says:

    Dropping the most established consumer brand British Telecom in favour of EE sounds about as smart as the Royal Mail and The Post Office rebranding as Consignia.

    1. Netz says:

      Agreed

  23. Nick says:

    The BT brand will continue for consumer customers who have standalone BT phone and broadband+TV.

    Converged services will use the EE brand. People with BT Broadband and BT Mobile will be pushed onto the EE brand.

    I had BT Mobile and they pestered me non stop to get me onto EE, calling me everyday and everytime I needed to speak to BT customer services I was bombarded with offers for joining EE.

    When I did agree, I switched over as a sim only customer and found BT had charged me around £20 early termination for BT Mobile, They removed this instantly when I called up about it. So if you do move from BT Mobile sim only to EE make sure this sneaky charge doesn’t appear. I was told I wouldn’t be charged this as I didn’t have a phone on contract from BT Mobile

  24. Nick says:

    My opinion of the EE brand is that it’s totally ridiculous, it was a brand thrown together by 2 shareholders who wanted a quick sale of it and didn’t want to spend money on what they thought was a lost cause.

    The previous name and brand and it’s logo Everything Everywhere 2010-2012 was even worse, the logo looked like it had been created by a child using Microsoft Word.

    My guess is that BT don’t want to use the BT brand for mobile services as they already did that at the turn of the century with BT Cellnet and in early 2001 before BT Wireless was demerged, Orange had overtaken BT Cellnet and prior to that Vodafone was market leader for some years in terms of customer numbers, then after that BT had a few attempts with mobile as a virtual network without success. The first in 2003 when it launched a virtual network using O2 then later T-Mobile offering free quick calls home to the BT landline and various other offers.

    Then BT tried again with Bluphone in 2005 this time using Vodafone then going onto BT Fusion which was a more modern concept of Telepoint but offering 1 phone as a home phone at home and whilst out of the home becoming a mobile.

    Then there was another attempt at BT Mobile this time also offering pay as you go which didn’t last long and the BT Mobile broadband service using Vodafone closing in 2013 shortly before today’s BT Mobile took off in 2014 using EE’s network and then of course in 2015 BT acquired EE

    So BT has obviously thought this through and thought the BT brand would be better used for corporate and legacy services.

    Telefonica did the same using its own various brands like Movistar,O2 and Viva

  25. Rich Branston says:

    Here’s a combined brand for you: BTEE. Spoken “BT”

    That’ll be £200,000, thanks.

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