Case Studies > AirTouch

Category: Technology/Telecommunications

When PacTel Cellular de-merged from Pacific Telesis in 1994, its IPO was one of the largest ever.  But what, in the then new world of wireless communications, would the company stand for?  What was its purpose?  And how would it be named?  The company hired Rick Bragdon and his Idiom team to figure it out.

Conventional thinking, symbolized at the time by the UniMobilTeleDigiComLink-type names of its competitors, would have led the company to believe that the science and technology of radio waves are somehow appealing to wireless users.  Our investigation proved otherwise—that people use wireless technology to enable themselves greater personal freedom, control and interconnection.  They want it to stay “in touch.”

AirTouch was thus given birth. As BrandWeek wrote: “The name ‘AirTouch’ gives voice to the consumer.  Finally.  It reaches where MobileNet and Cellular One confuse.  We don’t need to know the techniques behind the madness.  Just tell us what it is, in simple terms…And the name has room to grow.”  We note with interest that virtually every major wireless communications company later copied the personality and name type we developed for AirTouch.  AirTouch assets were sold to Verizon and VodaPhone.


formerly PacTel Cellular