Cable giant Comcast rebranded their TV, internet, phone and home control services two years ago under the name Xfinity to coincide with the digitisation and widespread improvement of their services, including improved internet speeds, HD services and diversified content viewing options.
Comcast are the biggest home internet provider and cable operator in the United States, with stakes in many cable networks including NBCUniversal and an operating revenue of over 55 billion as of last year. They are extremely well established and have the biggest share of the media operator market, with over 18 million customers to date.
Comcast’s Xfinity covers many services that the company are already well known for providing, which begs the question “why Xfinity?”. While they have stated that the changes in their services are big enough to justify their re-branding, should we really care?
A major re-branding effort by any company usually happens when big changes are made to the products and services offered, but in the case of Comcast there has evidently been some confusion. The Xfinity brand was established in 2010 – two years after the project was first introduced under the name “Project Infinity”- and despite roughly $640 million in advertising in the two years that have passed since, consumer understanding of the Xfinity brand has remained hazy. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts acknowledged this fact last week, and to address this issue, Comcast will be injecting a further $170 million in marketing which will see extensive advertising in print, radio and the NBC network, and high profile advertising including the 2012 London Olympics.
Progress is now underway, with Comcast scrapping old product-centred adverts in favour of adverts which show the diversity and power of the Xfininity Brand. Aside from faster internet speeds (they are doubling two existing internet subscription tiers), diversified content across tablets and smartphones, and new HD services, it is Xfinity Home which is the real centre of interest.
Xfinity Home is a broadband-based digital home monitoring system which lets users control home security via Android and iOS, for example by streaming live security camera footage and controlling indoor lights and thermostats remotely. So, if you go on holiday you can conveniently check up on things at home, turn the lights on at night to deter burglars and receive security alerts.
Should you care? The Verdict
It is getting easier and easier to watch what you want online without having to pay, and with this competition posing a real threat, service providers like Comcast are now focussing on keeping existing customers happy and satisfied. In the past, Comcast have suffered some of the worst customer satisfactions ratings ever to befall a company, but since Xfinity has been introduced ratings have improved significantly.
In regards to this new brand, it would be unfair to say that the effort has not had any point, though it would have been better to have had a clearly defined marketing plan right from the start.
All in all, you should care about Xfinity if you want paid levels of service, the ability to watch your favourite programs on whatever platform you wish, and get access to online streaming and live playback options. You should also care about Xfinity if you want a digital home security service that offers you excellent control.