Comcast: a complete branding mess

by Craig Johnson    December 12, 2012

Comcast shows us that even the biggest of companies make brand messes.

Yesterday, Brand New reported on the new Comcast logo that has adopted the NBC Peacock logo as its overarching corporate logo.  If you didn’t know the background on Comcast owning NBC, here is the overview provided on the Brand New blog.

Established in 1963, Comcast is a global media and technology company and it operates two main businesses. The first, and what most people associate the company with, Comcast Cable — although it’s not called Comcast Cable, but Xfinity — which is the the largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider for residential and business use in the U.S. with a combined 50.8 million customers. Under the Comcast name there is also venture capital firm Comcast Ventures and sports and entertainment company Comcast-Spectacor. The other primary business is NBCUniversal, only one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies that manages the namesake television network and movie production company, as well as specialty channels like USA Network, Syfy, E!, CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, and more. In other words, Comcast is huge and influential. Yesterday, without any fanfare or release, Comcast flipped the switch on a fancy new website that features a new corporate logo.

There are a host of reasons why this is such a horrible decision by the Comcast, but one look at the suite of names and logos above tells you all you need to know.  What a brand architecture mess.  It’s like they put a bunch of logos and names into a bowl and picked them out randomly and paired them up.

It’s easy to point the finger, but I watch companies make decisions like this all the time.  Logos are created on a whim.  New company names and initiatives are created without thinking about how it affects the overall brand identity system.

Next time you are about to create that new product name, corporate logo or sister-brand, stop yourself and look at the big picture.  Make sure you are creating a brand identity system that you can easily explain to your spouse, your friend, your grandma and your kids.  If they don’t get it, it’s not simple enough.

2 thoughts on “Comcast: a complete branding mess”

  1. At least their new corporate website looks nice. Though the UX isn’t very strong to me, their navigation seems hard to follow on the homepage, and the information seems sparse / irrelevant. With that being said it is visually a heck of a lot better than most corporate sites.

  2. I wonder if this, and the hairiness of customer service with them, corresponds to the same reality.

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