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Cable Tech

Charter's Spectrum Enterprise goes on the offensive

Spectrum Enterprise, the big business services unit of Charter Communications, is putting incumbents on notice with the launch of a new brand identity and campaign aimed at driving fresh deals and stealing away share in a lucrative services category.

The Spectrum Enterprise brand, created following the merger of Charter with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, will remain. But the change in brand identity and marketing campaign will be client-focused and not as much on specific services and technologies. Spectrum Enterprise is calling on big businesses to be "unreasonable" in their requests, holding that the unit is up to the task, no matter how complicated or difficult that task might be.

One aim is to provide a "rallying cry" for the unit's internal teams, according to Jen Garrett, group vice president of enterprise marketing at Spectrum Enterprise. Another is to seek more market recognition for Spectrum Enterprise, considered a "challenger brand" in the sector, and to break through some of the "clutter" in the sector, she explained.

"We know there's attention in the industry with a number of entrenched providers that have been in our space for years and years, providing legacy technologies, one-size-fits-all types of solutions," Garrett said. "Spectrum Enterprise, as a challenger brand, we're seeking to take share. We believe the way we can do that is through being super client-focused to the point of asking clients to be unreasonable."

Garrett said the focus of the campaign originated in part from a message from enterprise customers that they are often told by incumbent providers that they are making unreasonable asks. "What we've done is to flip that around and to say, if you're unreasonable, you're our kind of client, because we are client-focused. We'll roll up our sleeves and get it done with you on your terms."

One example is Premier America Credit Union (PACU), which had asked for a remote call center in two weeks, a request that, according to Spectrum Enterprise, would be considered "unreasonable" by another provider.

Launched externally on November 1, the new brand identity and associated marketing campaign were developed after Charter realized that Spectrum Enterprise, like its incumbent competition, was generally focused on product messaging and associated technology-focused elements such as the number of fiber-lit buildings they support.

While technologies and services remain important, "there's not a lot of providers who really … lead with a client message," Garrett said. "We saw some white space there and said, we want to take advantage of this. Our brand name is already pretty solid, but as a challenger brand, we need to uplift the recognition of our brand name."

As is the case with most Tier 1 US cable operators, the enterprise market is a relatively new focus as MSOs develop services and technologies that support services in and outside of their traditional cable network footprints. Spectrum Enterprise does offer some services on hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks that are also used for residential subscribers and services for smaller customers, But it's generally fiber-focused for enterprise customers, which are typically defined as businesses with 400 or more employees.

Expanding enterprise

Enterprise is a growing segment within Charter's business portfolio. In Q3 2021, Charter earned $656 million in enterprise-related revenues, versus $617 million in the year-ago period. Charter's small and midsized businesses segment is still the largest piece of the business services pie, generating $1.06 billion in Q3 2021.

New campaign and brand identity aside, Garrett acknowledges that lengthy sales cycles and resistance on the part of prospective clients to making major changes are among the biggest challenges faced by Spectrum Enterprise as it looks to drive more business.

"There are many legacy technologies out there, and it's difficult [for enterprises] to switch," Garrett said. "We want to grow in this space. We are growing in this space … And we think there's a lot of share out there for us to take."

We will be taking a deep dive into the commercial services space on Thursday, December 9, when we present our annual Cable Next-Gen Business Services digital conference. To find out more information about this free online event and join us there, please click here to register.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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