AT&T Puts Cingular Out Of Its Misery

AT&T is torching their Cingular brand like a gang of boychiks igniting a hobo on their way home from the milk bar. From the ashes, phoenix-like, a new brand is to emerge: AT&T Wireless. Try to repress those epileptic seizures of excitement breaking every bone in your hyperventilating frame.

As you might remember, the Cingular brand came about when everyone was just jumping to name their new company some arbitrary nonsense term that evoked absolutely no internal mnemonic connections whatsoever unless you were already informed what product they were selling. Telecommunications companies especially loved this strategy: for example, Orange, or O2, or Verizon. Still, the Cingular brand is well established now. So why is AT&T changing the name?

Bundling appears to be the answer. AT&T wants its pipes to be sole umbilical cord to communication with the outside world. — telephones, broadband, cell phones — and, of course, slap it all on one handy monthly bill.

But we’d like to suggest an alternate theory on why AT&T might be changing the Cingular brand name. As we said, the Cingular brand is well established. Everyone knows what Cingular sells: crappy customer service. Regularly changing your company’s name might not be too shabby a way to thwart bad word of mouth.

AT&T Plans to Kill Cingular Name [Consumer Affairs]