The 3 Most Important Branding lessons to learn from Netflix

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It was 20 years ago that software engineers Reed Hastings and Mark Rudolph founded Netflix as a DVD rental service. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that it transitioned into a company offering an online streaming service of thousands of advertisement-free TC shows and movies to its customers. It is said that the idea for Netflix came to Reed Hastings after he had to pay a late fee of 40$ on a DVD he’d borrowed. The rest, as they say, is history.

Netflix’s success does make for a great story, doesn’t it? Well, behind this envy-worthy success story is the company’s unfaltering service-focus, reflected in all aspects of its functioning including its logo evolution.

The original Netflix logo back in 1945 was purple in colour and was meant to evoke a larger than life, cinematic feel. However it was eventually changed it to a simple red lettering on a white background more in line with their current focus on original content & streaming services.

Let’s delve deeper into its 3 mains service pillars and the lessons we can learn from it:

1. Learn what your customers need even before they do: A big reason for what can only be described as Netflix’s phenomenal success is their transition to online streaming back in 2007. This was the phase when the use of cell phones, tablets and Wi-Fi was at an all-time high and Netflix stood out by exhibiting the foresight to capitalise on this trend through instant, high-quality content. Moreover, online streaming allowed Netflix to extract useful data about customer preferences, which it put to good use and pioneer changes before its competitors could. Ready with information about the shows that go on to be the most popular and armed with data around the reasons behind the shows’ popularity, Netflix till date continues to tweak its content and produce trending shows, thereby making sure it always offers what’s in demand.

2. Originality is the key: Netflix has set itself apart from the very beginning. It has always been known to offer an incomparable customer experience, unlimited content and no ads. However, they outdid themselves in 2013 with the debut of their first Netflix Original Series, House of Cards. We wonder if Netflix had predicted where House of Cards would take it. The point is – their originality of concept and content has working for them and promises to take them a long way in the field of online streaming. A unique strategy and original content always works in setting one apart from competitors.

3. Keep Improving even if your product is perfect: When Netflix realised the importance of the role that images play in the customers’ content preference, it decided to test the images accompanying its various programs. Their creative team was entrusted with coming up with multiple options of artwork to depict the essence of each title while staying true to the spirit of the program, all in one single image. The results? Once they replaced these engaging new images with the previous ones, they saw as much as a 20-30% growth in viewership of certain titles!

The fact that Netflix takes its image testing seriously speaks volumes about its commitment to customer experience. Not that image testing itself is something unique but just the fact that Netflix’s focus is on continual improvement of their services proves why they are the market leaders today.


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