A look into the Branding Strategy used by Netflix
Before we look into the branding strategy used by Netflix, let us understand the brief history of Netflix. Netflix was found in 1997 by Reed Hasting and Marc Randolph. Initially, the company started off as a DVD rental company which later grew to a 29 Million subscriber company in 2016. By late 1997 Netflix launched it’s website and made the service available online(Netflix.com). This was the first best thing Netflix did. They were on the market at the correct time. At the time there weren’t many selling the same service offered by Netflix that made them unique in the market.
Competitors of Netflix
Eventually like all business, even Netflix soon met the enemy. Amazon Prime TV and HBO were doing very well along with other companies like Hulu and At&t’s Uverse. Netflix soon became a thing. they were doing so good that they so close to 46% hike in users over the years. How did they do it? Branding. Netflix had one of the best branding campaigns ever done.
Branding strategies used by Netflix
The internet of things
Like previously discussed, Netflix was able to get into one of the fastest growing market, i.e the internet. The brand made its way into the market way back when the internet was gaining attention. This really helped them a lot in the later stage. They had a huge set of audience to sell to when they actually set off online.
Cross-Device Compatibility and HD
Cross-device compatibility and HD streaming blew people’s mind. 2010 was the time when smartphones and tabs started filling people’s hand and Netflix saw this opportunity. Netflix was available everywhere and in HD too. It was easily accessible from your home, office and some even took it to the washroom. There was no competitor who did the same at the time giving them a sustainable competitive advantage.
Netflix leveraged Digital Marketing
Netflix is there everywhere, let it be facebook, YouTube, twitter and you name it. Not many use the internet as their prime strategy. Take the case of HBO’s Game Of Thrones yes, it did really well. But they were not everywhere and it took a while to reach that huge set of audience they have now. Regardless of the current standing of the show, if it was a Netflix production I bet you would have seen it 10 times before it had launched. Netflix’s ad campaigns were adrenaline pumping, meaning no matter what age or race you are from Netflix managed to capture your attention with their 30 sec, 15 sec, and 6-second ads. Yes, all their video adverts were 30, 15 sec and 6 seconds. And they kept all their trailers under 2:55 second.
Netflix Logo and Interface- Brand Personification of Netflix
Netflix always had a thing about the logo and that thing got put Netflix more like a mysterious person. Look at the UI used in Netflix. Though Netflix streams a lot of fun and Drama, the interface is sleek, minimalist and dark in appearance. Mysterious well defined.
Netflix’s brand personification as a mysterious person is quite fascinating even when it comes to the logo. Watch the video
‘Netflix And Chill’ – Confused branding? Well, it paid off!
Netflix and chill became a thing by early 2015. It was not clear though what it meant. The internet was over it and yes “Netflix and chill” were abused should I say. It became a verb, credits to marketers but not in a good way it was a thing for “Wanna have sex tonight?”. Either way, Netflix saw a boost in subscribers. It worked!
Even though Netflix history as a very successful brand, did have a bad day once in 2011.
Netflix had close to 16 million subscribers in 2o11. Reed Hasting made a very bad decision that was later described as the disastrous after Coca-Cola. From 16 Million, by the end of the month, the subscription plunged to 4 million. That was something Netflix never expected.
What went wrong with Netflix in 2011
Netflix rebranded the DVD mail service to Qwikster. Netflix by then had a lot of subscribers on the online platform and was considerably grown a lot big after coming online but the people always remembered Netflix as a very reliable and good DVD-Rental service. Later Reed hasting apologized. Netflix’s subscription grew back to a massive 29 million in 2016.
Netflix is valued to have a very good brand experience even though there have been setbacks. Netflix always maintained standards in quality of the content that are streamed and also made sure the compatibility to use Netflix was made minimum. These made the audience happy. This also allowed Netflix to reach out to more audience and deliver content. The subscription cost was hiked in 2016 by $1 to $2 on each level of subscription. Since Netflix has made their service available in HD and 4K resolution this hike was justified. All in all, the viewer’s experience and perception towards the brand is good.
NETFLIX Brand Elements
Name: Why the ‘Netflix’
Netflix’s name is derived from ‘Internet’ and the synonym for movie ‘flicks’, putting them together we get ‘Netflix’.
Logo: The logo was evolved throughout the ages since the foundation of the company. Initially, the logo was basic one with a film role and the text written in Blue ‘Universe Ultra Condensed’.
Later this was evolved to a full white text on Red background initially and later on developed to Red ‘Graphique’ font Text on White background.
The Tagline is more than just a three worded sentence. The keywords ‘See’ and ‘Next’ is to be noted. The word ‘See’ can be attributed to a lot of things such as
- Connecting people
- Looking forward
Similarly, the word ‘Next’ can be attributed to
- Creating an anticipation on what Netflix will do next
- The next episode
Netflix Logo, Sound and Color
There is a reason why these three elements are taken into consideration together.
The logo as mentioned before is a red text on a white background. The logo and the animation sound is basically a combination of few of the best streamed shows in Netflix. The logo sound is from one of the best of Netflix ‘The House of Cards’ and the color format take from the all-time anticipated and viewed tv series ‘Blacklist’.
Frank Underwood. Red. The perfect quip. It’s a three-part system for Netflix’s new brand, and while it sounds almost stupid-simple, the system is a clever, scalable gradient to promote stars like Kevin Spacey or the business of Netflix itself. – Gretel
Brand Identity Trap
Netflix, when rebranded with Gretel in 2014, wanted the Netflix to be in a premium entertaining position though they succeeded in achieving the same the brand also got the ‘Netflix and chill’ identity that they never anticipated would come in. This perception of the brand is still carried on.