by Kerry Martin
To continue on with the hot topic that our partner Kim Taylor wrote about in her blog post, I wanted to bring up some questions that still lingered following the Netflix announcement.
We can all agree that the Netflix CEO mishandled the announcement and rollout of their price/package changes (even he owned up to that). I could go on and on about how there was a serious communication breakdown about what those changes meant for their customers, shareholders and the general public.
But what I still wonder is what had they originally planned to do to launch the new company that will take over the DVD by mail aspect, Qwikster? I’m quite sure the PR plan did not start with “first mention of Qwikster should be in a remorseful email to subscribers sent in the middle of the night.”
Did they have creative ideas like mailing all of their subscribers an example of what the Qwikster envelope would look like so they could get excited about seeing it in the mail with their future DVDs? Did they want to make a fun video showing how the Qwikster name was created and share through social media? Did they want to do a teaser campaign, launch it in test markets, place extensive TV advertising, press and publicity? Did they want to wait until the website was at least live? And as Kim pointed out, did they want to do some background checks on the name Qwikster to make sure they could even get the all-important twitter handle?
It seems that the way it was handled in a hurried attempt to respond to shareholder and subscriber outcry will just leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouth for a new brand—when instead I’m sure they were aiming for a creative and fun way to introduce and launch this new service.
While it’s always better to be proactive in communications, Netflix teaches us that if you’re too late to react, that careful planning may be all for naught.