Although most of us here in the U.S. associate Nextel with the now defunct company that merged with Sprint in 2005, which basically stopped pushing the Nextel brand at the consumer level, there is a whole alternate universe of Nextel-branded mobile services in Latin America. First extended as Nextel de Mexico in 1998, the company changed to NII Holdings in 2002 and now oversees the Nextel brand in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Chile. Employing more than 14,000 people, NII Holdings counts with 9.84 million subscribers. This week, the company introduced a new identity designed by the San Francisco office of Landor.
“The new slogan, ‘Your world. Now’ (‘Tu mundo. Ahora’ in Spanish and ‘Seu mundo. Agora’ in Portuguese) builds on the brand’s existing business focus while emphasizing the relevance for personal as well as business use,” said Greg Santoro, NII’s executive vice president and chief marketing and strategy officer. “Our new visual identity uses connectors derived from the ‘x’ in the company’s new logo that are meant to join ideas and focus attention. They express the professional and personal nature of our network and provide tremendous flexibility to deliver our message to customers while maintaining a clearly recognizable visual language that expresses how the brand connects customers to what’s important to them,” Santoro said.
— Press Release [PDF]
The new identity system, which begins rolling out today, features a lower-case Nextel word mark set in a customized, orange typeface. The ‘X’ in the center is made up of “the connector,” or two arrowheads pointed at each other to frame ideas and personal stories of customers.
— Landor Press Release
The old Nextel logo was as plain as cell phones used to look in the late 1990s so it’s very welcome to see a new version. The new logo strikes all the trendy chords: lowercase, bold sans serif, “l”s with a little flare at the bottom, orange. The wordmark is nicely done and it has a nice weight to it. The “x” is the item up for debate, I think you either hate it or love it. My initial reaction is to hate it because of the weird extended space it occupies but that’s really just me expecting an “x” to take up half the space this one does. After seeing how the “x” transforms into “the connector” I like it more. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. In the TV spot the connecting idea comes alive and I like how it’s subtle and moody, rather than all jumpy and fast, and even in static applications you get exactly what it’s trying to do. I wish the tagline supported this idea more, instead of the overly generic your-world thing, which could apply to any other mobile provider. Overall, a great redesign and repositioning for what was looking like a completely stale brand.
Quick note on the parent company logo. Big improvement, although it’s hard not to read it as Xnii.