Broadband News

Internet Users @bebroadband : "change your site back"

Service provider BE radically changed the design of its website recently sparking controversy amongst users as to the appropriateness of the brand. The new look has been described as 'garish' by some and 'retro' by others, with some users' initial reaction being concern that the website had been hacked.

One BE customer we spoke to suggested that they liked the site as it was very clear on what was being sold, although they agreed the colours could do with a bit of toning down. This would however appear to be a minority view with 14% of those voting on our poll of over 900 users indicating they liked the new design. Almost a fifth of users believed that it was a marketing ploy, an experiment by a design agency into social media and viral marketing.

What we do know, is that the 26% non-BE customers who didn't know who BE was, probably now do.

Answer Overall BE/O2 Customers Non-Customers
I like the retro look! 14% (130) 12% (37) 16% (93)
I prefer the old website/logo 48% (432) 71% (218) 36% (214)
Who is BeThere?  19% (168) 4% (11) 26% (157)
It's just a marketing ploy! 19% (174) 14% (43) 22% (131)

It is worth pointing out that in this analysis, BE and O2 customers were bundled together and the analysis was based on the Internet connection used, so the small number of BE/O2 customers who didn't know who BeThere was would probably be from O2.

We asked comparison site Broadband Genie what effect this change had caused; they suggested that they didn't think this was a publicity stunt:

"For the couple of days following the rebrand, Broadband Genie saw a spike in people comparing BE products and a 100% increase (more or less) in people clicking through to the BE website. We also estimate an increase (approx. 25%)  in the number of people searching on Google for "BE Broadband" in the aftermath of the announcement. Since then both measures have returned to roughly normal levels, but there's no doubt lots more people have now heard of BE Broadband.
We don't think it was a publicity stunt. Their marketing guys believed they were coming up with a graphic brand which suited their target market"

Ciaron Dunne, Broadband Genie

"It is really interesting to see some empirical information that reflects what members and non-members have told us. In summary, lots of members loved the pink asterisk and a move to a new identity has been a shock but we are listening. One essential factor is that the broadband service we supply has not changed.

The new identity has been facilitated by a new backend to the website. The back end allows us to be more flexible and so we are already making steps to update the site. As an example, the site is very "bright" so we are in the process of running a poll on the BE site for members to select the brightest levels of the colours used.

This wasn't a marketing "stunt" and we are committed to improving the way we communicate to existing and future members and ensure they are engaged in this process."

Oli White, Be Unlimited

BE was one of the early pioneers of ADSL broadband beyond the 8 meg threshold and scored very highly on our broadband customer service ratings. You can take part in BE's own website style poll (if you're a customer) by logging onto the BE forum via the login on the home page.

If you have not yet voted on our current poll on switching providers, please take part! You can find this on the right hand side of this page.


"I like the retro look!" is retro a new word for crap ?

  • herdwick
  • over 11 years ago

I have just bought a retro scoop to collect all my dogs retro's.

  • Going_Digital
  • over 11 years ago

Nice to see that Be* are still deluding themselves. A move to a new identity is not a shock. The fact anyone could consciously choose the new identity that they chose? Oh my, how very 'retro' of them.

  • mishminx
  • over 11 years ago

"Retro" - a term to describe something that does not meet modern standards / design expectations, sometimes but not always bearing a similarity (however slight) to something that was the norm in a bygone day, when designers used much more primitive tools and thus the job was much more difficult.

Or more concisely... it would have looked bad back then, it still looks bad now!!!

  • mr_chris
  • over 11 years ago

To be fair - the design at core was walking the thin line between madness and genius... unfortunatly it strayed very decidedly into the madness :D

I don't think its a bad thing for be tho if they listen to their users and adjust appropriatly then it will only reinforce brand loyalty, while having significantly increased their market exposure.

  • Rroff
  • over 11 years ago

I liked the new site from the first moment I saw it. This is BE making the Win 256k colour scheme fashionable again. Marketing diarrhoea has given way to the simple facts - all you need to know about the most exciting ISP in the UK and a boring ADSL technology.

  • bosie
  • over 11 years ago

Posted by herdwick
"I like the retro look!" is retro a new word for crap ?

I never thought in a million years that I would agree with herdwick, but in this instance I do :/

  • _TRIaXOR_
  • over 11 years ago


You need to keep taking the medication mate, that site looks f'n awful, it looks like someone got hold of win 3.11 and changed the colour schem to the ugliest possible, even if you think it looks good on your iPhone, lol

  • _TRIaXOR_
  • over 11 years ago

I remember one of my first basic HTML sites was that light blue and black colour, looked terrible. Maybe if they got rid of the light blue it would be alright. The original was definitely better.

Been thinking about Be, but the usage limit looks to be about 500GB and I'm looking for +1TB.

  • otester
  • over 11 years ago

-offtopic, what usage limit?

  • Gzero
  • over 11 years ago

@TRIaXor i think you need some of my medicine :)

  • bosie
  • over 11 years ago

glad you admit you need to take it :D lol

  • _TRIaXOR_
  • over 11 years ago

I'd have thought Be would be the only ISP that might conceivably allow you to get away with +1TB/month without you having to fork out a fortune, although 500GB is likely to be tolerated from what I can gather.

However, what on earth would you do with all that data? Have you got a huge family all watching different movies all day long or are you just a data hog?

  • Mr_Fluffy
  • over 11 years ago

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