Tag Archives: Netflix
Reputation Losers of 2011
December 30, 2011
Trust and relevance, in combination, is the key to building reputation. What happens when you are relevant for the wrong reasons? When relevance comes without trust, the result is negative for reputations. Here are my thoughts on the biggest reputation losers of 2011:
- Rupert Murdoch – Murdoch was never a beacon of honesty, but a publication-ending scandal of this magnitude solidified his position as the guy we shouldn’t trust.
- Ashton Kutcher – what happens when a twitter-licious celebrity goes off the rails? Ashton’s public marital problems, followed by his rant defending Joe Paterno caused his reputation to take a major tumble.
- NBA and David Stern – when millionaires fight with billionaires, nobody wins. And while the fans got a Christmas gift with the return of NBA play, they start the shortened season with a black eye.
- Yahoo – is this really how you fire a CEO? Enough said.
- Joe Paterno and Penn State Football – Legendary coach Joe Paterno’s firing in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal is the headline here, but far from the only reputation damaging event in college football.
- Bank of America – already the poster child for labor protests on executive pay and the “1 percent problem” Bank of America’s decision to implement nickel and dime fees to customers is one of the things that makes me go “hmmmm?”
- Mayor Bloomberg – OWS, mishandling the October blizzard and the Cathie Black debacle have made the straight talking Mayor one of the year’s reputation losers.
- Big Banks, Wall Street and the Financial Services industry – it’s hard to believe that there is further to fall after the TBTF trend of last year – but OWS, MF Global and other high profile events are proof that there is still further they can fall.
- The European Union – the European Financial Crisis is one to watch in 2012…seems like yesterday that the world was celebrating the EU and the Eurozone – concepts whose viability are now in question.
- Netflix – the customer owns the brand. And that customer is angry. A bumbled apology doesn’t make up for a breathtaking lack of awareness of what matters to customers. BofA and Netflix seem to be missing the same chip here.
If you want to be relevant, tell a great story
October 12, 2011
It may be one of the common denominators that make clients from diverse industries and across all practices of public relations alike. Whether launching a brand, working an issue in Washington, conducting an investor road show or managing a crisis, having a compelling story is a fundamental requirement.
In the public relations business, we’ve always been storytellers – whether you call it messaging, corporate/brand positioning or narrative – it’s all about the story. And the greatest, most iconic brands and companies do it really, really well – Nike, GE, Apple and Starbucks all understand that to remain relevant as you grow and change, having a story that resonates is key.
This piece on Starbucks features the philosophies of noted brand evangelist Stanley Hainsworth, and credits great storytelling for transforming a commodity product into a $4 splurge. He talks a lot about the art of storytelling, and gives us a glimpse into the approach he uses to create an emotional connection with stakeholders. As I read this piece, I was struck with the significant alignment between his priorities and the way we approach developing a client’s narrative at MWW Group…in particular, the emphasis on tailoring your story for different audiences – what we call the Total Stakeholder Approach.
The irony is that while this may be a fresh, new approach for the brand evangelist – it has been core to of great public relations programming and strategy from the beginning.
How do you know if your story needs revisiting and refreshing?
- Any time there has been a significant change in your business – new leaders, new business strategy, new line of business. Chances are you need to rethink your narrative. A more thoughtful approach would have made a big difference for Netflix, and saved them lots of backpedaling.
- Significant changes in your industry also call for a new story – because your old story simply won’t be relevant anymore.
- Shift in strategy or emphasis on who, or what, is important.
- If you are underperforming – in sales, in employee retention, in share price performance – that may be a sign that your story isn’t resonating.
- If it feels stale, out of date or misaligned with your priorities – even if it isn’t impacting your stakeholders yet.
Next Up in the Netflix Queue: Communications Expertise
September 23, 2011
As Netflix suffers from consumer backlash of price increases and the division of its DVD and online streaming services, communication from CEO Reed Hastings with Netflix’s customers have been just as big a problem.
Will Netflix survive despite its communication woes? MWW Group’s CEO Michael Kempner explores this in his latest blog post on MWW Straight Talk.
Will Netflix be the next TiVo?
September 22, 2011
Like many in the entertainment business, Netflix, with its iconic red envelopes and game changing subscription model, is struggling with digital delivery. This is not a new problem…the old fashioned “record stores” (who by that point were selling CDs) cursed the advent of iTunes. And then video rental stores didn’t have much affection for Netflix, whose convenient, affordable approach caused significant disruption in their business.
It isn’t called a category killer for nothing…and what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Digital delivery, primarily from the providers, is threatening to dethrone Netflix, in much the same way that they unseated TiVo from its seat of power. It’s cheap, provides instant gratification, and eliminates the need for a DVD player at all. And while Netflix struggles for a solution, they face an issue that TiVo and others like them never did: the power of social media. Social media’s amplification of Netflix’s stumbles in strategy were exacerbated by some questionable choices in communications…which appeared rushed, poorly planned and perhaps the gravest error of all…inwardly focused emphasizing their CEO’s opinion, rather than customer focused.
It would be hard to believe that the decision to migrate Netflix customers to the Quikster brand and apply the Netflix brand to a different business was likely made carefully, and thoughtfully. Unfortunately, the communications cluster that followed made it look like a desperate, knee jerk reaction. And even if it were a quick decision, fast and well done aren’t mutually exclusive. We’ve been hired by clients the night before they file for Chapter 11, and still managed to communicate effectively. The difference is that those clients understood that communicating well is key to preserving stakeholder trust. This may be just the opportunity Amazon needed to capture the streaming video market…