February 4, 2010
an excerpt from the Philadelphia Inquirer
By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Comcast cable guy and his truck are getting a new look.
Comcast Corp. said yesterday that it would re-brand its TV, Internet, and telephone services as Xfinity on Feb. 12 to signal to customers that this isn’t the same old company.
Comcast will remain as the corporate name, but the company will emphasize Xfinity in advertisements and on 24,000 service trucks and thousands of employee uniforms.
The new brand name will first appear in Comcast ads, around the time of the Winter Olympics, in Philadelphia and 10 other markets and will then appear in Comcast’s cable-franchise areas in other parts of the country.
“This is a pretty big moment where we are upgrading every product area,” David Watson, executive vice president of operations, said yesterday in an interview.
He said the new name communicates Comcast’s constant product upgrades and innovation.
Comcast officials said the new brand name would not change any customer’s e-mail address. The name will appear eventually as a logo on the Comcast TV guide and Web sites, and will also appear on customer bills under headings for different services. For example, instead of being called Comcast Internet, it will refer to Xfinity Internet.
Comcast had a Web site, Xfinity.com, online yesterday announcing, “A new era of entertainment is about to begin.” The words appeared on a background of clouds and bursting sunlight, but no other content was available.
Xfinity seems to position the company to compete with Verizon Communications Inc., which markets its TV and Internet services as FiOS, and AT&T Inc., which uses U-verse. Cablevision, the New York-based cable company, sells its services under the brand Optimum.
“Verizon has FiOS. Comcast now has Xfinity. It’s rebundling it in a high-tech package. You are rebundling an improved product, an enhanced service,” said Marc Brownstein, president and chief executive officer of the Brownstein Group, a Philadelphia brand communication, public relations, and advertising firm.
This re-branding comes as Comcast has struggled to rebuild its reputation because of poor service and problems with its network that resulted in telephone and Internet outages. Its customer-satisfaction rating is among the lowest in the industry, but it has improved slightly in the last year.