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September 2011


ella mae

Interesting post, I haven't come across your site and I am sure I will be back.

meetesh lodha

Netflix ,can make corrections . Like the Coca cola did by re -introducing the original coke . In India Reliance Industries ( Mukesh Ambani) Group, has entered in the retail sector. And has Reliance as prefix before every format it has entered into. For instance Reliance Timeout , Reliance Jewels etc... The brand recall in case of Netflix can do the same trick for its new business venture as well.

Balanced Scorecard Template

I think one wrong might have been making their price increase too "public"... Maybe they could have announced it during the announcement of a new feature or product?

Kristin Bush

There sure is a lot of banter out there regarding the Netflix/Qwikster branding fiasco. Always like to hear other insight from professionals like yourself. We too shared our thoughts: www.brandingbusiness.com


Thanks for the correction Noah. Always good to know history. And I think it was wise for Southwest to but Airtran. The name is an issue, since the airline will now be "national." But after so many years, the name really is more connected to low price than geography.

As for Netflix, I agree. The move to separate the DVD business from Streaming is a wise business one. DVD will eventually die. But no matter what they try to call it, the DVD will always be Netflix in the mind. Like the artist formerly known as Prince.

The best move would have been a new streaming name and selling off Netflix.


@Hugo - Valujet bought AirTran long before the Southwest deal, back in 1997.

I disagree with Laura on the Netflix change though. There was zero marketing reason for Netflix to spin off the DVD or streaming business, they have been successful in both arenas and are first in the mind.

However, there was ample business reason to spin off the DVD portion of the business. I, and many others, predict that they want to let Quickster die. The endgame for Netflix has always been streaming video, and they don't want the eventual failing of the DVD portion to drag down the "perfect" Netflix name.


Laura, great article and the point is very well made. But is it true that the Toyota brand has always explicitly endorsed Lexus? In the UK Lexus was initially launched as a quite separate brand with its own dealers and car showrooms. That's still the case. I just checked and only now is there a mention of Toyota in the bottom left hand corner in small letters of the Lexus UK website. Even today many people in the UK don't know the connection between Toyota and Lexus.Maybe the company has used different strategies in different countries?


Laura, I agree with all your points on Netflix. Customer communications have been terrible. One note: Southwest bought Airtran.

Elaine Fogel

Hi, Laura. I agree that the new name is questionable, but I disagree on the strategy. If we're supposed to be customer focused and not internally focused, why separate the two?

To subscribers, Netflix represents movies and TV series. Whether the products come via streaming or the USPS, it's unimportant to the user. In fact, leveraging one with the other, like they did before this fiasco, made a lot of sense. One credit card charge, one site to list favorites, and one site to keep track of what we view.

The rationale the CEO gave for the separation has to do with operations. I appreciate that, but to consumers, why should they care?

Paul MacArthur, Utica College

Qwikster is an awful name for the service. Too much like Grokster and Napster. Do you want a name similar to services associated with copyright infringement, even if Napster eventually went legit? Also, what's so "Qwik" about waiting several days for a DVD to arrive in the mail?

Chris Houchens, Marketing speaker

And even if you choose to make the mistake of adopting a horrible name, make sure you own that name in all forms. There's another Netflix disaster in the making with the Quikster twitter handle.

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