Following its acquisition of mobile carrier Cingular Wireless, telecom giant AT&T had a giant challenge on its hands: transforming more than 8,000 retail locations to reflect the AT&T brand. The transformation called for a tailored approach. Corporate-owned stores and authorized retailers followed entirely different signage standards. Moreover, each space was unique, with its own complexities.
AT&T wanted to elevate its brand across each newly acquired location, which meant amping up the design aspect of the sign design and conversion program.
A successful implementation of the rebranding effort meant emphasizing the details that make each location unique. Following a careful analysis of each space and subsequent strategic signage recommendations, AT&T created a family of environmental branding components. Signs, awnings and storefronts were designed, along with “like for right” design improvements where appropriate, with one goal in mind: increasing brand exposure for AT&T.
Large-scale conversion programs require precise execution. Extensive prototyping helped win the confidence and buy-in of key stakeholders prior to implementation. Flowing documents, standards and communications through proprietary interactive project management software SignChart® kept budgets, approvals and schedules on track. Ultimately, managing a dynamic and transformative program like AT&T’s demands a process that provides equal parts stability and agility.
A number of factors contribute to the success of an acquisition, not least of which is the conversion strategy. With one eye on the big picture and the other on fine details, AT&T pulled off a program that boosted brand presence while coming in on time and on budget.
In the case of the Cingular conversion, imitation was the sincerest mark of success. As it continued to acquire smaller mobile companies, AT&T followed the same conversion strategy and implementation process for another 700 retail locations.
Since the 2007 introduction of the iPhone, data usage at AT&T has surged at a staggering rate. Its network handles 130 petabytes of data every day — more than 40 times the digital holdings of the Library of Congress.
AT&T gained 8,000 locations after the Cingular acquisition, accounting for about half of its total number of locations.
AT&T’s wireless customer count throughout the U.S. and Mexico actually exceeds the population of Mexico.
AT&T has one of the largest workforces in the world, and they’re a satisfied bunch, too: It’s why the company landed on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list.