Openreach is a subsidiary of the BT Group, responsible for the pipes and cables connecting nearly all homes and businesses in the UK to the national telephone and broadband networks.
Rival telecom and internet suppliers use these networks, so a Digital Communications Review was set up by Ofcom to advise on the relationship between Openreach and BT.
Openreach approached us before the ruling to consult on the implications for the brand identity of the various different potential outcomes.
We looked at their business positioning, their relationship to BT at the time, and to the wider sector. We then ran workshops with key stakeholders and marketing teams to understand the breadth of potential outcomes and the business’ appetite for change.
In March 2017, BT Group agreed to make Openreach a separate company with its own staff and management. We consulted with them to investigate and advise on a range of possible identities to suit this outcome.
The final decision was to retain much of the existing identity to create continuity through a period of change for the business. The simplicity of the solution means that the new identity can be rolled out slowly and still sit alongside existing assets, which will have the BT references removed.
Clive Selley, the chief executive of Openreach, said it was a “small but symbolic step”.