I just came across an article about Netflix saving The Killing. As a brand marketer who has had the opportunity to work on a few brand reinventions, I’m very impressed with how Netflix has re-energized the brand (after the short- lived Qwikster disaster – killing the project before it even had time to launch) and how it has set its path to the future.
In the 1990s we raced to get the newest releases at our nearest Blockbuster only to leave with our second choices (sometimes third) because THE movie we wanted to see was already taken. On top of that, we had to rush to finish watching the movie before we started accruing late fees. (Just for fun, what was your highest late fee?) It was a rite that will live in our memories.
They say that video killed the radio star. Now that DISH has announced it will be closing the last 300 Blockbuster stores, we can say Netflix and the Internet have joined forces to kill the corner video rental store.
Netflix, established in 1997 quickly grew its library and its subscriber base and changed the playing field. Like Tower Records, Blockbuster was slow to respond to a model that seemed too “different” to last. Netflix started with a simple idea (no late fees) and a radical delivery system (no stores) and evolved by listening to its customers, nay “fans”. They were right to think streaming content was the next step. The problem was they didn’t execute well when they thought Qwikster to be their next step. So, they cut their losses and regrouped. Took the kernel of the good strategy and looked at it from a different perspective – the customer. Now they’re reviving loved content and creating new content. Content has solidly placed them in a new arena and created fans for the brand rather than just customers, as well as creating shareholder value. What more could you ask for?
My takeaway (as always): Listen to your customers. They will let you know what they want…and don’t want.