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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

January 18, 2007 at 11:50 AM

Cingular brand trumps AT&T

Following the news that Cingular Wireless will be renamed AT&T, a study suggests that AT&T may have a hard time transferring the positive associations of Cingular Wireless to its age-old brand.

The study, performed by the Keller Fay Group which specializes in tracking and analyzing word-of-mouth marketing, was highlighted today in RCR Wireless.

According to Keller Fay’s measurement program for word-of-mouth marketing, Cingular draws nearly four times more positive talk than AT&T. RCR Wireless wrote that in the telecom category, Cingular ranked second in what Keller Fay calls “Talkshare,” or the percentage of people talking about the brand. Cingular claimed 19 percent of telecom conversations, and 19 percent of those conversations were positive. AT&T ranked last among telecom providers both in the percentage of people talking about the brand (7 percent) and in positive discussions (5 percent).

This sort of confirms what I was thinking — AT&T is an earlier generation’s long-distance carrier, not a cutting-edge communications company delivering TV, phone, Internet and wireless in increasingly fast and competitive ways.

Still, through a pricey advertising campaign, AT&T will try.

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