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11/10/2011 by

How Netflix Deals With ‘Power To The People’?

We have been frequently giving Netflix the credits here, for being the US largest and most powerful online video on demand service. But recently Netflix shook up its large community and now needs to deal with the trend called: power to the people.

Since this summer, Netflix is under fire for making 2 decisions that didn’t feel well at their customers’ incredible large base of clients, fans and followers.

What happened? And what should Netflix do next?

The first Netflix decision that did not go well was the fact that Netflix raised its prices: from $10 per month to $16 per month.

Next Netflix decided to split their company in two, with 2 sites for the same service: Netflix and Qwikster.

But after the stocks for Netflix dropped and the people complaining and making fun of the name Qwikster they decided not to split the company.

Well, what should Netflix do now? For starters what they did. Writing an “I’m very sorry message”, as was done by the Netflix Co-Founder and CEO: Reed Hastings here.

I do applaud the reaction by Reed Hastings. But also question myself: What was he really thinking? And why do not more brands use the idea generation box like Starbucks My Idea?

I do now going the Starbucks route might be scary as hell for brands. Being a CSO, my dialogue and listening strategies have been rejected about 90%, especially at brands that would rather spend their budget on “lipstick on pigs” (shouting ads that promote lousy products).

But in the era of power to the people, all brands should listen to their clients, fans and followers much better. They can use advanced social media monitoring tools for that. And invite customers and fans to share their ideas on their own website.

But all the tools in the world, will not change a company’s DNA nor make it a CRM driven company after decades of interruption marketing and shouting ads.

So the question that remains to Reed Hastings and his Netflix board: Shouldn’t or couldn’t you have listened much earlier to the opinions of the people to whom you own your existence and success?

ALF: Always Listen First! Especially in the era where the power is to the people.

Trust might be difficult to restore for Netflix. Maybe they can earn that respect again, but it will take time. And advertising? Well, that might be second best right now. Or maybe it’s even better not to shout right now?


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