Last Updated Feb 17, 2010 9:03 AM EST
Comcast will still be the corporate name. But as it revs up its TV, Internet and telephone services, you'll be dealing with Xfinity. It will be on the bills, on the sides of trucks, on employee badges. (Not to mention in all those ads during the Olympic Games this week -- enough, already!)
I'm always skeptical that massive, multimillion dollar name changes do much good. But I'm usually wrong. In 2001, "Accenture" was called one of the worst company renamings in history. But I bet today that fewer than half of my readers remember the original name: Andersen Consulting.
Here are some other famous hits and misses in corporate reboots:
- Blackwater (a GREAT name for a creepy paramilitary force) became Xe.
- ValueJet became AirTran after the tragic crash of ValueJet Flight 592 into the Florida Everglades.
- Sears Tower became Willis Tower.
- Philip Morris changed the name of its holding company to Altira.
- KPMG became Bearing Point.
- The Beaver magazine became Canada's History.
Harvard Business School marketing professor John Deighton thinks the new brand will work, helping transition Comcast from a company known basically for providing cable TV to one playing in the much larger markets for content. "It's elevating Comcast out of the cable industry and into the communications industry," he tells the Boston Globe.
But marketing exec Larry Weber disagrees, saying the move waters down an already strong brand. "Just work harder on telling your story to your customers, instead of just changing your dress.''
What's your take on Xfinity? Vote in our poll.
(Xfinity logo courtesy Comcast)