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THE HOYOS FILE: Green is the new black


THE HOYOS FILE: Green is the new black

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At some point, comparing numbers loses all meaning for me.

I can understand if you have ‘x’ more dollars, circulation, people, or fishcakes than me only if I can count them with the ten digits on my hands. When you get up into the thousands, it becomes vague and theoretical.

So the folks at LIME will have to forgive me if most of what Rachel Pilgrim said the other night “bypassed” my brain. I got the Press release and you will have heard the details of LIME’s plans by now.

What I couldn’t stop looking at, or thinking about, was the green. It is by no means a weakling, pastel lime green, but a full strength version that says, “Deal with us now, brother.” It soared at the same time as it seared.

You may have guessed by now that what I am going on about is LIME’s rebranding. I could never understand why the geniuses who designed Cable & Wireless’s campaign transitioning the company’s trading name to LIME several years back came up with the idea of using black as the dominant colour.

True, it was interspersed with the colours we use in printing – yellow, magenta and cyan – but apart from making a colour proofer’s life easier, there seemed no reason why black became the first LIME colour.

Well, the creative imagination has been at work again and this time LIME is, well, the colour of a lime. A fresh green lime. Not a yellow overripe one.

Barbados is apparently the testing ground for LIME’s Caribbean-wide rebranding, which has also seen the staid old Windsor Lodge customer centre, so reminiscent of a civil service department, get all fancied up.

All that is lacking now are the baristas serving lattés and other coffee-based drinks that are too hard to remember far less spell.

It is only a year and a half since the awesome launch of Columbus/Flow in Barbados, when the east side of the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre was turned into a spaceship landing area complete with spaceship. (I have to stop drinking Mount Gay-and-Coke at these things).

But let’s give it to LIME: they seem to be really breaking with the past, in a good way.

The numbers I cannot remember were the totals of households now being bypassed by thicker fibre optics cable or that will be bypassed over the next three months, six months, and so on. Not to mention the awesome amount of bypassing that will take place under phase two. It is more than ten.

As my brain went numb I found I could only count to three – the number that comes up when you realise that all of the CEOs of these telecoms in Barbados are currently Irish. What are the odds? Please don’t get into a huff: I am all for international crossover in business.

It facilitates knowledge transfer. Barbados has gained massively from it in our offshore sector – and the telecoms sector is the only one which is being expanded in any large way by new shareholder investment, their investors looking to a digital future in Barbados that they hope to command.

Now, if we could just drop our corporate tax rate to 12.5 per cent. I think I will suggest this to my friend Donville Inniss. He loves new ideas. Wish the rest of the Government did too.

Don’t you just love September and October in local business?

It’s the time when the corporate marketing rolls out, new products are often launched, rebranding is undertaken, all with a view to getting whatever part of the Christmas season business they might be able to if they are ready in time, but certainly to have it all done by early in the new year.

Currently the telecoms sector seems to be focussed on bypassing households, that is stringing up or adding more capacity underground to fibre optics cables in order to be able to offer households and businesses more products and services.

The key players spending the big bucks there are the blue team (Columbus/Flow) and the green team (LIME). But I must warn you that Digicel has a beautiful new logo too, although its dominant colour remains red, and is very busy taking on the blue team in the IT division.

Both the blue and red teams also want to get more share of the landline or handset business, traditionally the realm of the now-green team.

Of course, moving their fibre optics capacity from 3G to 4G means bigger blue and green satellite television packages coming your way in the near future, and I hear that the red team is planning to play in that division too.

Exciting times. My head is dizzy trying to think about what we are going to do with all that connectivity. In five years, I am told, Barbados will be one of the most connected places per capita on the planet. That has to be good, right?