Rebranding success is not achieved overnight

The past few years have been transformative for Comcast as it acquired and integrated NBCUniversal and dramatically changed its products and customer experience. Today, the company is uniquely positioned at the intersection of media and technology.

The past few years have been transformative for Comcast as it acquired and integrated NBCUniversal and dramatically changed its products and customer experience. Today, the company is uniquely positioned at the intersection of media and technology. 

Comcast now has businesses in TV and high-speed Internet, theme parks, sports and news, communications and home management, cable and broadcast television, entertainment, and movies.

It was imperative that we fully understood the implications of this enormous change, not just from an operations standpoint, but also on how to rebrand the company. Creating a new brand identity for a global Fortune 50 company does not happen quickly. At the end of 2011, we set out on a yearlong journey to create a new identity and story for Comcast. Our goal was to introduce the new brand at the end of 2012, on the eve of Comcast's 50th anniversary in 2013.

The main aim was to change the conversation around Comcast. We wanted our influencers - the media, investors, regulators, career seekers, and industry thought leaders - to understand this transformation. And we wanted the employees - approximately 125,000 - to know what the new company stood for.

With our goals in mind, we set out to establish the brand story and values. We met with people across Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Comcast Cable to find out how they en- visioned the company's future and what they perceived as its unique attributes, values, and assets. Throughout, we consistently heard words such as world class, growth, innovation, next generation, and technology.

Through countless meetings, the unique attributes of the brand became clear. It has some of the best content creators and technology innovators under one roof and creates world-class experiences that millions of people love and trust. It delivers critical services including television and high-speed Internet and creates and delivers world news and the nation's most important events. Many say Comcast is essential to people's lives and their source of entertainment. And that was the story the new brand needed to tell.

With our brand positioning in place, we focused on creating a new logo that would clearly indicate something had changed at Comcast. After considering hundreds of variations - including changing the name of the company - we settled on the new logo you see today. The combination of NBC's iconic peacock, a widely respected media brand, with a new modern font for Comcast was immediately impactful. It indicated change and conveyed the direction we were heading in as a combined company.

A new logo is just one aspect of a brand identity. We needed to communicate the new brand in a real and comprehensive way. One of the best ways to do this was with a new corporate website. We put an enormous amount of time and resources into it as we wanted it to tell our story in exciting ways and we needed it to be vibrant and dynamic.

We are incredibly proud of the result. The site launched in December along with the new logo. We introduced employees to them with an internal television show from the set of Saturday Night Live with NBC's Brian Williams, Comcast's chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, and others.

Delivering an unexpected experience via the new site would jolt the viewer into seeing Comcast in a different way. The Our Story section delivers vignettes of classic shows and movies while highlighting the history of TV technology that has reinvented the way Americans watch television and experience high-speed Internet. We use the London Olympics and special videos as proof that the experience was unlike any former Olympics and that NBCUniversal and Comcast delivered a remarkable viewer experience.

Though the official launch is behind us, we have only just begun to introduce the new brand and company to the world. We will continue to bring the brand to life through external and internal activities, advertising, social media, Comcast's 50th anniversary celebrations, and in ways I am sure we have not yet discovered.

Creating a new brand does not happen overnight. Perception does not change over- night either. But we certainly think we are on the right path moving forward. 

D'Arcy Rudnay is the chief communications officer and SVP of Comcast, a Fortune 50 global media and technology company.

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