Brand Spotlight: Netflix

in Branding | by Admin

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By Tara Lane, Staff Writer

Do you remember the days when renting a movie was a less of daily occurrence, and more of an event? The VCR had just debuted, and going to the movie rental store involved the whole family piling in the car and ended with a fight over what movie to rent or which candy to buy. Over the years, renting movies not only became much more typical, but less expensive and not as time consuming. To some this was a welcomed move, but left others feeling nostalgic for the early days of the movie rental store.

While Netflix can’t bring back that fight between you and your siblings, they have given us that “want” to rent movies again, continuing a tradition that many thought had seen its last days. Established in 1997 when a DVD player was considered a luxury, Netflix has cornered the market in the DVD rental industry, and has seen explosive growth over the past few years. As a brand, Netflix is recognizable to almost everyone with a DVD player, even if they aren’t subscribers of the service. Built upon a simple service, they’ve been able to grow and expand into new areas, while still keeping the promises they made when it all began.

We’ve asked our favorite trio to help us spotlight the Netflix brand and give us their insights on this popular service. Creo, always drawn to businesses that employ social media tactics, is very enthusiastic of Netflix as of late. Ana is impressed with Netflix’s price structure and profits, while Connie gives her opinions as a faithful long-time subscriber. Netflix’s simple idea has become a giant success through their branding and marketing efforts, leaving customers happy, satisfied, and coming back for more.

Ana the Analyst: Did you see that Netflix just experienced another huge growth in sales? Videobusiness.com reported that due to Netflix’s new option to stream videos – they have a library of more than 17,000 for streaming alone – directly from the site, they’ve experienced a 24 percent growth this quarter. Despite being in an economy where everyone is giving up luxuries, it looks like a Netflix subscription is a necessity to many customers.

Creo the Creative: What is so amazing about this growth is that it’s accomplished with very little advertising. Though Netflix does have a presence in nearly every marketing channel, the majority of their customers come from word-of-mouth marketing from satisfied customers. In 2007, Netflix sent out its 1 billionth DVD rental. It took less than 10 years to reach that milestone, and they’ve been able to do it while keeping prices low.

Connie the Consumer: Not only is Netflix affordable, but it’s very user-friendly, too. When I initially signed up for the service, I used the free trial offer that any new user can do. Although it was only two weeks long, I was still able to receive a good amount of DVDs during that time, and then I was hooked.

Ana: Good point, Connie. Netflix’s pricing structure is really innovative, and why I think so many customers are drawn to it. Customers can choose their price according to habits, and aren’t forced into a price package they won’t use. I think consumers are seeing the value of a subscription service like this. Another good aspect is that they don’t hide the prices or small print –everything is available right on their site.

Creo: For customers who are social media lovers, Netflix has really taken to social media and has pages on Facebook (approaching 56,000 fans), and Twitter (more than 13,000 followers), where they interact with customers daily. Compared with rival Blockbuster, which has only 5,000 Twitter followers and less than 1,000 Facebook fans, Netflix is the clear winner in connecting with customers over social networks. There’s even a Netflix iPhone app, so you can manage your queue wherever you are. Now more than ever, customers expect their favorite brands to engage users through new media, and Netflix has really embraced that.

Connie: As a customer, having the power to choose is critical for me. Netflix has always been a customer-driven service, allowing us to make changes whenever necessary at just the click of a button. The recommendations they give based on my past rentals are always good, and I’ve discovered a lot of movies I wouldn’t have seen otherwise because of that aspect. I can also see what my friends are watching and read their reviews – something I value very much.

Ana: Netflix estimates that customers add 2 million movies per day to their queues, showing just how much they’ve been able to build and maintain customer loyalty. With the closing of hundreds of Blockbuster stores just a few months ago, there is sure to be even more growth in the future.

Creo: I like to think of Netflix as a mashup – two things together that don’t seem right at first, but work beautifully when put together. A lot of people didn’t think Netflix would work, but they were wrong. As everything moved to the digital space, it was clear that one day we’d be renting movies from there, too. What started off slowly has now become one of the greatest online success stories in a very short amount of time. The Netflix name is synonymous with online rentals, and is something that will be hard for anyone else to match.

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