Keep it Real: Netflix Brand Review
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but, Netflix is taking over the TV and movie world.
Don’t believe me?
Just this past month, Netflix came out as the number 1 studio to earn the most Emmy Nominations for 2018 with a total of 112.
The online streaming media services provider has taken the internet by storm with their timeless branding, their curation of hundreds of movies and TV shows, and the creation of their own original content that has, in the Emmy’s eyes, surpassed all others.
Alright, melodrama aside, pretty much anyone you know either knows about Netflix or uses it on a daily basis. For the purpose of transparency, I will admit I watch Netflix almost every day (it’s only a mild addiction!).
Netflix is not only a part of the American lifestyle, it’s also global.
In the last 20 years of its existence, Netflix has managed to maintain a consistent yet adaptable brand, be available to the masses, and always reaches for what’s next by pushing boundaries with their original content.
As an Orange County Digital Marketing Agency, here are some key insights that Netflix uses in their branding that you can adapt for your own business.
Brand or Friend?
If Netflix were a person, I would definitely want to meet them. A medley of sass, friendly banter and meme-like content makes you feel like Netflix is actually your best friend.
Netflix today has over 5,000 employees, but if you follow Netflix on social media, you’ll quickly realize that Netflix always sounds like one person.
Their brand voice is seamless throughout each and every post and comment.
This is a key lesson: a consistent brand voice across all your online platforms is important. But Netflix takes this further: using that voice to reach every person and make them feel like you’re a friend or have their best interest is priceless.
Here is an example of Netflix meme-ing their own content, which shows they have a sense of humor.
They’re also known for gif comments and joking along with their audience. Netflix posts as if they’re sharing something they love – rather than a traditional way of advertising.
Netflix Lesson 1: To really come across authentically, think of your brand as a person. How would they speak to people? Are their values aligned with your target audience? What would excite your brand and how does it promote positivity for others? At the end of the day, if your brand voice is kind and helpful in some capacity, your audience will find this incredibly authentic.
Be Adaptable Over Time
One of the biggest pitfalls for a brand is their unwillingness to change over time. This doesn’t mean you need to be on every social platform or rebrand every year to remain relevant.
Netflix has been around since 1997, and a lot has changed since then. Can you imagine if they stuck with just DVD rentals? More importantly, their branding is fairly different now than back then.
A brand is not only meant to adapt its technologies and processes, but it should also adapt its design.
Netflix partnered with Gretel to do a rebrand that features The Stack, a card like layered effect that Netflix has incorporated into their marketing and brand look.
From the way the shows and movies are ‘stacked’ next to each other on their website to the advertisements, The Stack is almost everywhere. The genius behind it is that it’s adaptable and keeps the content highlighted and not overshadowed, but you know it’s Netflix when you see it.
Netflix Lesson 2: Change doesn’t mean drastic, flashy design. Rebranding is a chance to refine, strengthen, and ensure that your brand style and design is standing the test of time. Maybe this means changing up your secondary or primary colors while keeping your logo mark. Or maybe your font needs to be updated. Whatever it is, be sure to remain consistent and flexible, while remaining rooted in your brand values.
Original Content Wins
Netflix was primarily known, and still is, to be a place where you can watch curated shows and movies of all genres. But they didn’t stop there.
They decided that creating original content of their own, such as shows and movies, would be worth the risk. Netflix released their first original show in 2013, House of Cards.
Five years later, in 2018, they will have around 700 original TV shows and 80 original movies.
Their content strategy is now both curator and creator, and it’s working. The curation is what allows their users to trust their services while the original content pushes the boundaries for them to discover more content they didn’t know they wanted.
Does it work? I’m pretty sure those 112 Emmy nominations and 125 Million worldwide Netflix subscribers are proof!
Netflix Lesson 3: No matter what, the best way your brand can thrive is producing original, authentic content. Learn about what your audience loves and then take the time to create it. Whether it’s writing articles, filming videos, or sending weekly eblasts, use the tools the internet provides to create useful and entertaining content that fits your target market.
On a regular basis, I now find myself saying to friends, “Let me tell you what I’m watching on Netflix.” Or “Oh that sounds awesome, is that on Netflix?”
You know a brand is sticky when it shows up in everyday language. Of course, that level of stickiness doesn’t happen overnight.
With consistency and authenticity in your brand’s digital marketing, you can become more than just another company, you can be a friend and a lifelong brand your audience trusts.