I have not really commented at all on the Netflix saga, partly because I found it so confusing and quite frankly I didn't really care. But hearing the news yesterday that the brand had lost over 800,000 customers last quarter and that the stock price dropped like a stone did make my ears perk up I have to say. That and the fact that I also received an email from the company stating "Houston we have a problem" because my credit card will suddenly no longer go through. The email literally said "Houston we have a problem!"
Now I am kind of interested.
I discovered that my confusion is actually symptomatic of the brand's problem. All through out the summer, no one could figure out what was going on. The price suddenly surges, the bundles are unbundled, the services transferred ... without any real explanation or logic. People got confused; loyal customers got confused. And they complained about it, all over social media. And the traditional media covered it too.
The brand made a fatal mistake of not really understanding their customers and how they would react to change. And then they made a second fatal mistake of not communicating well. And then a third fatal mistake of not getting out in front of the "crisis" when the tide starting turning against them.
Sure the CEO did apologize, but even his explanation was confusing. At least from my perspective. What's all this about Quickster ... my brand is Netflix.
Marketing is hard stuff, no doubt about that. The key is to get to know your customer as well as you can, and then over communicate. It's a lesson that many have learned, including me. Look at bp and Toyota as examples. Get in front of the story and over communicate.
The interesting part, at least from what I've read, is that the company doesn't seem to really care. From what I can tell, they are tagging the losses as "minor", which to me isn't so cool either. There are a lot of very upset consumers, and I would never say that's minor. Just my opinion.
Now I have to go track down why suddenly they are having trouble with my account!
What's your experience? Jim.
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Tomorrow's post: Blockbuster's reaction!!