Netflix/Qwikster split putting business before its base

September 26, 2011

What will the true impact of the Netflix/Qwikster split be for these brands once the transition is complete? That's what I've been wondering following the announcement.

The split positions Netflix for a digital future and all of the promises of video streaming. Qwikster is left with a cloudy future and a limited business model. It doesn’t seem to make sense to invest the marketing dollars getting the Qwikster brand off the ground by stifling its ability to innovate outside of the mail delivery business model. Unless, of course, the organization is preparing to sell the business off (as others in the media have mentioned). So, once the costs of maintaining Qwikster's mail delivery business model becomes too much, it can easily sell off the business.

But, what about the customer? The Netflix/Qwikster split expresses a clear delineation in terms of a newly fractured customer experience: digital vs. mail. Existing Netflix customers will no longer be able to enjoy the flexibility to consume media on their terms. Even after they sign up for Qwikster, their Netflix account information won't be shared. Users will have to manage two separate profiles between the brands, which will effect key features, such as their queue and ratings.

The Netflix brand may not have explicitly made a promise to serve media on its customers' terms, but it has nonetheless been delivering on it until now. That flexibility is now being taken away from customers.

It seems that Netflix is putting potential future business profits ahead of an understood promise to customers. Can a Netflix limited to only its current digital offering and the promise of a bright future, be enough to substitute the flexible Netflix that customers have come to know and love?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Brandlogic and CoreBrand have become Tenet Partners — Where brand meets innovation®. More