Netflix is to net as Qwikster is to…?

September 23, 2011

I previously commented to Netflix's lack of communicating when it came to the pricing and service changes they made. I signed off with the sentence: "If they ever go purely digital, I sincerely hope they explain their reasoning better than they have for this service split."

And here we are, two months later. "Netflix" is now positioning itself to become purely digital. Meanwhile, their physical DVD mail-rental service is being split off and being rebranded as "Qwikster". Disregarding the comic book villain-sounding name, Netflix/Qwikster has effectively communicated about this change.

Now if only they spent a few more days doing the necessary trademark research around the Qwikster name. Trying to friend Qwikster on twitter will currently get you a user with an affinity for smoking and bad grammar. I'd like to think they thought about this seriously, and took the time to run it through a legal team to determine any potential issues. Sure, Twitter would be pretty low on the list. But even social media outlets have to be considered when choosing a new name.

Meanwhile, Qwikster will be incorporating mail-order games into their offerings. If positioned well, communicated effectively, and marketed strategically, they could really build up this new brand. I’m sure companies like Gamefly will be watching Qwikster carefully to see just how this encroachment onto their digital territory will alter the playing field.

Here’s to hoping that the new Netflix/Qwikster duo manages to settle into their respective niches and continue to provide us with continued entertainment. And if the two companies split completely (hopefully not in two months), may they communicate the split effectively while also protecting themselves against any other social media problems.

Branding is everything you say and do. Being amazingly successful at a point in time is no guarantee that you will amazingly successful in the future.

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