Comcast Announces "Always On" Brand Promise - InformationWeek

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5/12/2009
03:02 PM
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Comcast Announces "Always On" Brand Promise

OK, not really. But after living through a customer service experience that closely resembled a staging of Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit, I think it's a killer idea for the company's branding.

OK, not really. But after living through a customer service experience that closely resembled a staging of Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit, I think it's a killer idea for the company's branding.My woes were nothing special: I woke up one weekday and had no Internet connection. Since the main channel for contacting my ISP is the Internet, I was out of luck there. When I called the 800 number, I got disconnected after wading through an onerous IVR system. I called again. Same thing. A dozen times later, and still, all I got were a few clicks to a service extension, then "if you'd like to place a call, please hang up," followed by my own expletive deleted.

When I tried to get to Comcast chat via my iPhone, it didn't work. A number of friends told me that I should tweet my complaint, but by then the service had returned.

This could have ended like every other gripe-inducing, junky cable service experience, only I saw in it a tremendous opportunity:

Comcast could change things up, and guarantee that it would be "always on."

I don't have the technical details, but the brand promise would be, simply, that customers would never have to be offline. Maybe it would mean a backup deal with a mobile provider, or perhaps maintaining an emergency dial-up service. There'd have to be an arrangement with a third-party server farm, in case Comcast's own equipment went on the fritz. Routing and processing (and tracking) would have to be ready to accommodate a temporary shift.

Imagine if Comcast took all that money it wastes on promoting its bundle offers, or those inane television commercials, and spent it on making such a guarantee to its customers instead? It would seem to me that it would be far more compelling than subjecting us to those people singing the company's praises in monotone rap as they stumble through nightmare cartoon sets.

Would it be that hard to do? Why wouldn't an "always on" brand promise...or something like it...be obvious to them?

Jonathan Salem Baskin writes the Dim Bulb blog and is the author of Branding Only Works On Cattle.

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