Three Mistakes Made in the Time Warner–Spectrum Brand Rollout

Posted on Aug 17, 2017 by

Most of us have seen in these past months the Time Warner cable brand transition to the new Spectrum brand. The company included in the rollover aggressive offers for new customers to join; it also included heartfelt brand-building commercials featuring employees and their new outlook through Spectrum. The refresh of the new logo on building signage, trucks, and collateral was textbook. All that said, Spectrum made three critical mistakes in its brand rollout strategy:

1. Forgot Its Loyal Customers

With the launch of Spectrum came its great offer to new customers to bundle their services for a low price. But what about its longtime, loyal customers? Naturally, these customers saw the offer and thought this was also an opportunity for them to lower their bills. Instead, the customer service representative told them they were still under contract from a previous promotion (or something similar) and ineligible for at least a year. They were then quoted the new price that would be more than what they were already paying.

Where was the reward for loyalty? Apparently, it was not a concern for Time Warner/Spectrum. Many existing customers were so offended by the snub that they jumped ship to other cable/internet providers. I even heard that some were going as far as to quit their current contract in order to come back and sign up as new customers for the lower introductory offer. It’s sad when a big brand ignores its greatest asset – the brand loyalty customer. A brand refresh should be driven by real organizational change.

Damage was done but it could have been rectified – which leads me to mistake No. 2.

2. Lacked Accountability

A simple way for Spectrum to rectify mistake No. 1 was to offer long-time customers a good deal on bundling its services. Instead, the company chose to instill fear in anyone considering a provider switch by launching its clever commercials with creepy, evil characters complaining about AT&T (implied) and the unreliability of dish technology. By the way, AT&T’s U-verse is not affected by the weather and still costs less than Spectrum.

3. Didn’t Empower Its Customer Service People

So what’s left to do? Switch providers or possibly negotiate a compromise with Spectrum to get a better deal. Unfortunately, I know many customers who tried this route and found the customer service representatives powerless to negotiate anything. You could hear his or her embarrassment and frustration – “sorry I cannot help you” is something no one should hear from a brand representative.

The Big Lesson

Spectrum could have avoided this problem by simply remembering its long-time customers and offering them a benefit for their loyalty. By not doing this, the company gave its competition an opportunity to enter the conversation and steal customers.

It should be obvious to any business in today’s economy that when it comes to branding, it’s critical to not disrupt the order of importance of your brand audiences:

Always give your first focus to your employees who are your brand ambassadors, followed closely by your existing customers, and lastly your prospective customers.  

If you are in the midst of or considering a rebrand and need help planning your rollout strategy, please contact us at 920-886-7727 or