What’s in a name? For Xfinity, the name is everything.
Comcast, a massive telecommunications conglomerate, spun off its cable communications division in 2010 under the name Xfinity. This telecommunications company offers telephone, wireless services, internet services, and telephone services. These exact same services were previously marketing under the name of Comcast before the rebranding in 2010.
New Name, New Image
Why would a company change its name? The prevailing theory among analysts at the time of the rebranding was that Comcast suffered from heavily negative associations in the public sphere. Rebranding the company was a way to change customer views following years of struggles with its public image. The company was widely perceived to have both poor customer service and poor communication with its customers. Comcast did not comment on the reasons for the brand change after it was widely criticized.
Xfinity was rebranded during a massive advertising campaign that was timed to coincide with the 2010 Winter Olympics. Comcast is the parent organization of NBC, the broadcast station which owns the rights to the Olympic Games.
Xfinity has an absolutely massive reach. It services forty percent of the cable internet access market in the United States. The company has over twenty six million high speed internet customers.
As Comcast, Xfinity began offering high speed internet before most of its competitors, all the way back in 1996. The fees associated with renting or buying a modem, as well as high service and repair fees, have been widely criticized. Xfinity serves twenty states across America and the District of Columbia.
Xfinity has attempted to offer innovative products along the way in order to encourage new customers and retain current customers.
Business has been a particular area of growth and innovation for Xfinity. Comcast Business is an arm of Xfinity, offering high speed internet, VoIP, and more. These services are offered only through direct sales.
Xfinity Mobile is the cell service arm of Xfinity. This service has grown dramatically, from zero to more than one million total subscribers since its launch in 2017.
Home security has been another area of growth for Xfinity. This service provides residential customers with monitored emergency and burglar services.
Aside from changing its offerings, Xfinity has also worked to rehabilitate its image as a cold corporate entity. In 2011, the company rolled out a program that it called Internet Essentials. This program offers low cost broadband service for families across Xfinity’s service area where a child in the home qualifies for free or reduced lunch at their public school This was a requirement of Comcast’s FCC agreement to allow it to purchase NBCUniversal. Roughly a quarter of a million households participate in the program annually.
Ups and Downs
As the cable, internet, and cellular service markets have changed with changing technology and consumer tastes. Xfinity has experienced a wide range of ups and downs. The company has rolled back its cable services as subscriptions have fallen off dramatically, down year over year since 2007.
This company has always trended upwards. It grew from around twenty-four billion dollars in revenue in 2006 to over fifty-two billion dollars in revenue in 2018. Whether this is the result of rebranding or improved customer service and expanded offerings, it’s definitely good for both shareholders and consumers.