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Posted October 25, 2012 | comments 16 Comments

Shentel unveils new logo, brand image

By Sally Voth

Shenandoah County telecommunications leader Shentel is updating its image on the heels of a $60-million upgrade project.

Shentel recently unveiled its new logo and the tagline, "Always connected to you."

"It's been in the works for almost a year, and it's the result of a lot of research that we did into who we are and what we do and how we do it," said Willy Pirtle, vice president of sales and marketing for the Edinburg-headquartered firm. "We settled on it based on consumer feedback and focus groups and qualitative and quantitative research."

Shentel_logo.jpgThe logo features Shentel written in all capital blue letters with a tri-colored triangle to the left of it, and the tagline underneath the company name.

Lindsay Wilson, public relations senior account executive for GKV, a Baltimore marketing communications firm that worked with Shentel on the logo, said the new brand mark represents Shentel making a deeper connection with its customers and community.

The triangle represents the mountains and the company's rural roots, and its three legs Shentel's three business lines: wire line, wireless and broadband, according to Wilson.

She said the triangle's three colors: orange, gold and slate, are also symbolic.

"The orange and gold colors reinforce our genuine and reliable brand personality traits while generating warmth to convey that we are approachable and honest," Wilson stated via email. "The slate blue color signifies our hardworking and loyal traits."

Besides a new logo, Shentel is also unveiling its new brand identity, highlighted in new commercials featuring local residents and landmarks, according to Wilson.

"The logo itself is just a very small part of a much bigger process," Pirtle said.

GKV helped the company through a process called the brand inside, he said.

"Shentel's been in the telecommunications business now for 110 years," Pirtle said. "We've always done business with a focus on customer service and we're going to continue that focus on customer service and work on building deeper relationships with our customers going forward."

According to a news release from Wilson, Shentel has spent $60 million in the past three years to upgrade its cable networks ensuring "all of its customers have equal access to the most current Internet, phone and digital TV technology -- one of the main tenets of the company's mission."

In addition, Pirtle said, Shentel is in the midst of rebuilding its Sprint wireless network to offer 4G LTE service.

"We thought it was important after we spent all this money rebuilding our networks that we make sure that all of our employees are ready to provide great customer service on top of that," he said.

That's what led to the brand inside exercise and new logo. A great deal of work went into the branding commercials, Pirtle said.

"The crux of that ad campaign is that we want to make deeper relationships with our customers," he said. "We live in Shenandoah County, too. We're proud to be part of the community as well as a service provider here."

The tagline refers to the firm's technical connectivity with customers, and a more personal cohesion.

"We're also connected because we coach your kids' Little League teams, we go to the same churches," Pirtle explained.

He addressed criticism some have leveled at Shentel, accusing it of having a monopoly in Shenandoah County.

"We don't have a monopoly," Pirtle said. "Anybody who wanted to could come into Shenandoah County and build a network and provide services."

As representatives from another telecommunications firm said at a business fair in Front Royal last month, the issue with a rival company doing just that is the new company would lack the infrastructure and customer base Shentel already has in place, Pirtle said.

Shentel does have competitors, he said, pointing out that there are about a half-dozen competing wireless service providers, and "you can even get your data through your cell phone today."

"A lot of what we see in rural America -- and Shenandoah County is no exception -- is that it's very expensive to build a high-quality network to offer services, and because there are so few customers in rural communities like this, the first person who goes in and does that gets the lion's share of the customers, but we're spending hundreds of millions of dollars to build state-of-the-art networks," Pirtle said. "One hundred percent of our [Shenandoah County] customers can have DSL service. That's unheard of."

And, Shentel spent money to get cable customers in competing markets, he said.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com

16 Comments | Leave a comment

    over priced, overrated, bad service, monopoly. i know it's not true, but i feel like i paid that 60 million.

    As if the phone bill and related charges were not high enough already, look out now!!!!!!

    I don't get it. I don't understand why people complain. Shentel's pricing is no higher than any other cable network. Go ahead.....bring in Verizon. Bring in Comcast. The pricing is the same. I speak from experience. When living in the Blacksburg area a few years ago, we had the option of Verizon for phone, cable, and internet or one of the satellite companies (Dish or Direct). It was the same there as it is here. Verizon and Comcast aren't any better. As for customer service, it's really nice to know that when I pick up the phone to call customer service, I am talking to somebody who is just a few miles down the road from my house. Not some call center in another city, another state, or even another country. People complain about Shentel having the monopoly.....check out other areas. There is only one cable provider.

      You are incorrect. Prices are the same, but the speed is what differs, for the same price we pay 3.0mbs down, verison, comcast, cox we would get about 15 mbs down. Not to mention the horrible up speed on all packages, its near impossible to host ftp on the shentel network.

    I wish they would take the money spent on marketing and invest it in actual modern technology. Telling us that your over-priced under-performing DSL network is "state-of-the-art" is almost as laughable as telling us you don't have a monopoly.

      I agree Mountain Man! Now that Shentel has updated their logo, how about updating your service?? DSL is but a small step up from long ago's dial up! I am still ticked that you pulled the plug on Channel 7's WJLA. Competition is always good between companies! Keeps them somewhat honest and they via for customers by offering better products and service. Between Shentel, Verizon and Comcast, who do you think would lose in that competition? Exactly! Shentel would! Why? They may all charge the about the same but Shentel has way less to offer and since there is no competition to speak of with Shentel, they can get away with offereing outdated DSL!

    Maybe Shentel can cancel a few of the "Circle of Excellence" retreats and save us all some money on our over priced phone and internet. Their little retreats are a bunch of bunk to say the least.

    I'd cancel my phone service if I didn't have to have it for the internet. Shentel's service sucks.

      Excellent post. They force us to pay a telephone bill and an internet bill. They have the cable technology to provide us cable internet but they refuse to offer it because you do not have to pay a cable tv service to have cable internet. They keep the outdated DSL service so they can rape us out of the double fees. Then to add insult to injury they spend all those double fees they raped from their users for retreats and unwanted logo redesigns.

    Being someone whom has had Cox, Comcast and now Shentel, it’s all apples and oranges. None of you would be satisfied, regardless who's your service provider or what they offered.

    It's human nature to complain

    Being someone whom has had Cox, Comcast and now Shentel, it’s all apples and oranges. None of you would be satisfied, regardless who's your service provider or what they offered.

    It's human nature to complain

    I figure they could offer us customers some retreats up to orkney springs in the summer. There are some nice concerts up there, and I do believe that they do sponcer some concerts up there, or if not they should.

    There may come a day when a national communications company offers enough money and SHENTEL sells. When that day comes you will complain even more when prices go up even higher and services decline. I admire the fact that we still have a successful family owned tele-com company. They do a great job.

      You know Spanky I have always had good customer service from the Shentel employees. They are always cheerful and try to solve the problem. However they are not a family run business, that died long ago and their stock is one the good old boys of Shenandoah love to own because they know they will be certain of a profit to sell it in a monopoly market.

      The only problem I have with Shentel is they place the stockholder's above the product they sell since they know they "own" the market.

      I find myself asking everyone I encounter what they think of Shentel and they rave about their fast internet. And then I ask have you ever used anyone else but Shentel? The answer has always been no. They rave about how much better it is than the old Shentel dial up.

      Well I guess if you are used to hamburger and someone gives you a sirloin steak it tastes pretty good, but when someone hands you a sirloin steak after a filet mignon it tastes pretty tough and nasty. Just like Shentel's DSL service tastes after having cable internet.

      And it tastes even worse knowing if the CEO's and shareholders were not important than their customers a company less than 2 hours out of the nation's capitol could provide a decent service.

      We had rain and wind for two days and their service slows down to the speed of the old AOL dial-up even though they have cable ready and able to pull us into at least the 20th century technology.

      And then if you need service on the weekend it is NOT going to happen. That would cost the CEO some overtime pay! LOL, maybe if they were still family owned they would care enough about their customers and own paychecks to make sure 24/7 service was available.

      Then when we had that storm a couple years back and they got caught with their pants down and we had no internet for almost a week how much credit did we see on our bills? If we had been that late with our payment we would damn sure see an interest fee.

      Why don't you tell us Spanky that you work for Shentel.

    Well said. I remember reading about the week long Internet outage you mentioned. Shentel apparently lost a (the) router which brought the service down. Amazing that they didn't have a shed full spare routers but they didn't. They claimed that they ordered a new piece of equipment from a company in Boston, MA. The storm here apparently affected the shipping in Boston as well, thus the week's delay. Now, we're talking about a very important piece of equipment. If it goes down, all customers lose service. This wasn't rocket science. But it happened for lack of common sense. Absolutely unbelievable. Bet they never miss a dividend payment.

      Well said as well Bob. They did have a spare, which was also bad, figure the odds. Just another lie they chose to tell their ignorant masses. Check the stock prices, it will surprise the un-ignorant masses what their stock is going for and keeps on increasing.

      But then the good old boy network in Shen. Co. would scare the rest of the world as well. At least Shen. Co. is still alive and well less than 80 miles outside of the Nation's Capitol in the early 20th century. Do not even think about getting into the 21st century in this backwards county. You could be shot for thinking into the future and beyond the good old boy network.

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