Netflix is catching a TON of criticism from all over the web as of late, and I just can’t help but throw a penny or two in the pot. I don’t want to tear Netflix down though. I want to build them up. I LOVE Netflix services, and I would like to see them succeed, but their baby isn’t doing so well right now, and if they’re going to get out of this funk, they’ll need to make some changes. These three changes (the first of which isn’t possible) are the actions I would take to get Netflix back on track.
Change #1: Go back in time and rethink your branding strategy.
Okay, I know this step is impossible, but the biggest branding mistake that Netflix made happened years ago when they first started to offer their streaming service. It was at that point that they should have created a completely separate brand instead of associating a new service with their existing image. In the mind of the consumer, Netflix was, and still is, a video-by-mail service. You take away from the strength of a brand when you begin adding services. The consumer already has what your brand does firmly in mind. Don’t confuse the people that are buying your product! Had Netflix created a separate brand for the streaming service in the beginning, there wouldn’t be so much controversy over the Qwikster (horrible name) and Netflix brands. If those decisions were made when they were relevant, Netflix brand would have been allowed to die a natural death, but because they waited, we have a name change of one brand and a new name for an old brand. Confusing right? Had the right moves been made from the start, Netflix would have saved themselves a lot of criticism and their customers a lot of confusion.
Change #2: Stay away from the video-game-by-mail industry.
Netflix is considering breaking into the video game market, and while it may seem like a natural move for a company that already delivers video-by-mail, this move will hurt the brands image and end up costing Netflix millions of dollars in the long run. For starters, there’s already a great product on the market called GameFly that owns the top spot in the market. Why is that? GameFly got there first. Overtaking GameFly will be impossible as their service is already firmly in the mind of the consumer. Netflix, which is struggling with identity right now, needn’t further confuse the consumer with another service under one of their two names. If they are dead set on breaking into this market, they’ll need to start a completely new brand if they want any chance of being the number two in the category. But what will most likely happen is that they’ll spend millions in advertising only to close up shop on the idea a few years later. Don’t do it Netflix. Unless you have something new to offer that GameFly doesn’t, this service is doomed from the start.
Change #3: Innovate.
Netflix (or is it Qwikster?) is nearing the end of its usefulness as a product as DVD’s and even Blu-rays will become a thing of the past before too long. In order for the company to survive, they’ll need to become the first in a market that’s emerging or risk going out of business. The video-by-mail business will soon be obsolete, and with identity issues and a lack of quality content, the Netflix streaming product is going to be overtaken by companies with a stronger identity in the category. The best chance Netflix has at remaining a viable competitor in the home entertainment market is to find something new and be the first to stake a claim; otherwise they may find both of their revenue streams failing. But, for the love of all that is good, DO NOT give this new product the Netflix name. That ship has sailed.
And there you have it friends. Follow my advice Netflix (or hire me) and you may just make it out of this mess on top, but if you keep doing what you’re doing, your business will continue to struggle.
- nobadge posted this