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Netflix is NOT Flexible

It’s hard to imagine where to start when it comes to the missteps of Netflix. First, it raised prices last month so that if you wanted both streaming video and DVDs, your bill shot up almost 60%. BTW, that pricing move alone cost the company 1 million subscribers!

Then, the brilliant CEO Reed Hastings, fired off a letter to the 23 million remaining subscribers informing them that the business is splitting in 2: one to be renamed Qwikster and one to remain Netflix. Guess which entity gets the brand name with all of the equity? The legacy business upon which the brand was built and loved? Nope! The DVD-only biz will change to the new moniker.

Oh, and did I mention that with 2 different companies, you get separate billings, queues, websites, and movie listings? This change means that you’ll have to search on two different sites for the same movie? Yikes!

AND, get this: Netflix doesn’t even own the Twitter name Qwikster!

What are the lessons here?

  1. Don’t transfer your warm, respected brand name to a new entity. Instead, treasure and respect your current brand. Give the new brand a new name.

  2. Combine all of your news is one massive missive. The way information was dripped out has been as annoying as one slow, leaky faucet.

  3. Have the courage to stand up and apologize. CEO Hastings has yet to truly apologize for losing a million subscribers and getting 5,000 enraged comments on Facebook. Hey, we love a great apology in America.

  4. Perform DUH! Diligence before changing your name and ensure you have all of the domains and Twitter names locked up!

What would you do? I welcome your comments.

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