The list of service providers who implement a new premium branding strategy for their service bundles now includes Charter, which is rolling out the new Charter Spectrum brand, first announced in November 2013. Spectrum joins FiOS, Xfinity, U-verse, and Optimum, among others, who have already launched new brands for their services.
Like the service providers before them, Charter is wrapping this brand around their broadband, TV, and phone services in the hopes that it creates a premium feel and differentiates them from competitors. Verizon has executed this strategy quite effectively with FiOS, especially against their cable competitors. It could be argued that Cablevision, with their Optimum brand, set the bar for this premium branding of telecom and TV services
There is one key difference between the cable and telco approach to premium service branding. Telcos typically create two classes of service through this service branding approach, typically tied to a technology upgrade. FiOS and U-verse are very much positioned as premium services, as compared to the legacy services of Verizon DSL and AT&T DSL, which are still available. U-verse and FiOS offer a much better experience than the legacy services. Much of this is driven by footprint availability, where FiOS and U-verse technology are not universally deployed across their respective footprints
Cable companies take a more holistic approach and rebrand their entire service offering. It does take time for the rebrand to reach their entire service areas, but you can’t find non-Xfinity branded broadband, TV, or voice services from Comcast anymore. It will take some time for Charter to roll out Spectrum to their entire footprint, but I suspect we’ll see the same approach (DSLReports.com is reporting on their initial progress). Part of this has to do with technology upgrades, where cable companies aren’t tying premium brands to new and different technology, whereas telcos tend to do so, and typically tie it to fiber based services (either FTTH or FTTN).
These branding efforts aren’t the domain of large national carries alone. Smaller carriers like Canby Telcom of Oregon with their FOz and WK&T of Kentucky with their Flite brands are following a similar approach.