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Innovation & Design

Hutch Rebrands -- Pretty in Pink

Hutch, a leading cellular service provider in India and a sub-brand of Hutchinson Essar, recently underwent a rebranding exercise and decided to do away with its orange brand identity. The rebranding campaign unified, under one umbrella, all of the 13 circles Hutch currently operates in, painting the logo flamboyant pink, and choosing a pug as the brand icon.

Today the new identity is well engrained in consumer minds across India, so there are no prizes for guessing what one expects to see when visiting The pug icon slides onto the screen accompanied by the text "Now in Pink," while a distracting white light blinks in the background. Unexpectedly, the homepage is more blue and white than pink. Although, the juxtaposition of the blue and the white does create an engaging division, allowing the blue background to announce new offers.

Links to the most relevant information such as: talk plans, products, latest offers, and other features are clearly visible on the homepage. These are laid out as a neat and well-structured menu with several options listed below, revealed on mouse over.

The designers could have better placed the "select your region" section to choose once at the beginning and not several times throughout the user's visit. If Hutch really does have such individualized or localized specifications, it might help to ask to clear that up before entering further into the site.

The "My Hutch" section allows users to manage their cellular phone accounts anywhere and anytime. The service extends a step further with a virtual demo that carefully guides the user on how to open and manage an online account. An online order form allows the consumer to avoid visiting the brick-and-mortar store. These are signs that the brand seriously considers customer service.

While Hutch surely makes no compromise on providing value added services to its local customers (astrology/stock market updates, cricket scores, caller tunes), it spares a thought for customers who don't wish to be bothered. A "do not disturb" link at the bottom of the homepage allows users to opt out of receiving promos or offers from the company.

What is missing from the otherwise comprehensive site is any information on cellphones. The provision for a combination phone and talk plan under a single roof could definitely help in wooing prospective customers.

But overall, the site is well packed with useful information. The simple, coherent display allows one to browse through various sections without feeling lost or frustrated (although a larger font size would not go amiss). Listing pertinent information and attractive deals up front effectively themed with the familiar pink provides the visitor with a sense of familiarity and comfort on the very first visit to the site.

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