Eesti Telefon abandoned for 'Elion'

  • 2003-06-21
  • Melanie O’Connell

The well established company name Eesti Telefon will soon disappear off the corporate horizon forever following an announcement from the Estonian telecommunication company that it will abandon its existing name and logo in August.
Five of the six brands owned by Eesti Telefon will soon share one new name "Elion," in an effort to consolidate the company's name, image and marketing strategies.
Eesti Telefon currently operates under six different product brands. ET for fixed telephone line services, Atlas for data and Internet services, for e-mail and communication portals, retail chain Hallo and Neti, the Internet search engine.
Due to its enormous popularity, Neti will be the sole survivor in the image consolidation.
Eesti Telefon communication director Piret Murk said it would be too difficult to include Neti under the new name because the search engine attracts more than one-and-a-half million hits a day,
"Neti is the most popular search engine in Estonia and is valuable in its present format," he said. "There is no need to change it. Everyone in Estonia knows it as a search engine, and it would be too difficult to change at this stage."
While e-mail and Internet addresses under the brand will continue to exist, the access portal will be redesigned and customers will be given the option to transfer to the new Elion name.
Murk said the expanding nature of Eesti Telefon's services had forced the company to adopt a new image.
"The current name Eesti Telefon does not reflect what the company now does," he said. "We are no longer just a telephone company providing fixed telephone line services.
"Our fastest growing areas are Internet and data, and information technology".
Though Eesti Telefon is waiting for the August launch to reveal the full meaning behind the Elion name and logo, it was revealed that "E" stood for Estonia, the "I" for inspiration and "ON" for online. The "L" remains a mystery.
Given its dominance in the telecommunication market, Murk is optimistic the new name and logo will be easily identifiable within months of the August launch.
"It will be much easier for customers to understand what we offer with one voice offering a range of communication services" said Murk. "It is much more effective to support one mother brand rather than six different brands."
While the total cost of launching the new name and logo is yet to be revealed, it's expected that operating under a single name and logo will prove to be cost effective in future marketing strategies.
"We have done the research to reveal this is a very short term investment project. We just have the expense of the initial launch, it will not be a huge sum of money," Murk said.
Established in 1992, Eesti Telefon enjoyed a monopoly over the Estonian telecommunication market until January 2001 when Estonia liberalized its telecommunication laws. Estonia became the first country in Central and Eastern Europe to do so.
While more than 100 telecommunication licenses have been approved by the Estonian Communication Board, most are small single service providers, leaving the market dominated by three major companies.
With an annual turnover of 2.6 billion kroons (166 million euros) Eesti Telefon is still the biggest fixed-line telecommunication provider in Estonia.
While the rights to the Elion name and the subsequent domain name have already been secured, Eesti Telefon had to finalize a deal with a small Parnu based business already registered under that name.
According to Eesti Telefon, lawyers from Tark & Co. filed the application to register the Elion trademark on April 15, shortly after which a Parnu county court registered Elion OU to deal with the export, import and retail sales of industrial goods.
Eesti Telefon announced on June 10 that during talks with Elion OU, the Parnu-based company, both sides reached an agreement according to which Eesti Telefon acquired Elion OU at an undisclosed price.