Monday, November 30, 2015         

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Hawaiian Telcom shows off new look

A new branding strategy is part of the utility's bankruptcy reorganization plan

By Erika Engle


Always on.

The new branding statement for Hawaiian Telcom, planned for more than a year, represents a new phase for the telephone company that emerged from bankruptcy last week.

It was unveiled for employees outside the downtown Honolulu headquarters building yesterday morning in a light, misting rain.

"Delivering our pledge to our customers to be 'always on' starts with you, our valued employees," Eric Yeaman, president and chief executive officer, told the crowd. Employees were already hip to some of the new branding as the company had refreshed its internal, corporate culture in preparation for its emergence from bankruptcy.

The re-branding officially launches today with the company's new colors and new look, multimedia advertising, newly branded trucks and company shirts for technical staff, simplified bills, and a refreshed internal company culture, among other aspects.

The logo with dots representing the chain of Hawaiian islands was retained, though its colors were changed. It will be seen in black, navy blue, or white, while the colors in the company's advertising palette have been expanded to include vibrant purple, orange, yellow, blue, red and green, as reflected by vertical banners placed around the courtyard.

Added to the bright colors are a Polynesian tattoo design, crafted by Big Island artisan Che Pilago. Rather than straight, rigid lines common in many island tattoo designs, Pilago's design for the company includes curving, flowing lines, because life "isn't just a straight path," he said in a statement.

Public utilities sometimes catch flak for advertising.

Hawaiian Electric Co. ran TV commercials in the late 1980s using dramatic music and compelling video depicting HECO line crews working at night in rainy, stormy weather. Some customers criticized the company for the advertising expenditure. Hawaiian Telcom's re-branding expenses were all part of the reorganization plan approved during the bankruptcy process, Yeaman said. The re-branding, along with enhanced business-to-business services, the company's long-planned Internet Protocol television, or IPTV service now undergoing field-testing, and other improvements are all necessary to keep Hawaiian Telcom a strong company, he said. "If we don't do this, we don't do what's right for the company," Yeaman said.

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