Netflix fmr VP on Brand Positioning (Part 3)

Through the years, Netflix’s brand positioning has remained very consistent and clear. While the technology and mediums for delivering content have changed, the foundation for the brand is virtually unchanged. That said, the brand’s experience has evolved significantly since it started in 1998. I will take you through how our brand has evolved over the past two decades.

Beginning with our first website in 1998, customers could spend $4 on a DVD and have it arrive eight days later. This was presented solely with text and did not make any emotional connection. Fast forward to 2004; we started to show some emotion by adding photos of people in their living room enjoying a movie.

Related: Building From Idea To Business: Finding TAM and Building an MVP

From the start, we were competing against Blockbuster as the go-to method for renting movies. In 2006, we eliminated late fees — which was always a pain point for renting movies the old-fashioned way. Furthermore, we introduced our streaming service in 2007 — starting with only 300 movies. This addition fundamentally changed our business model, and we started to change how we positioned DVD delivery alongside streaming content.

Initially, we continued to lead with DVD service with streaming positioned as a secondary product. By 2010, we had flipped priorities and began leading with our streaming service with DVD delivery as the backup option. As a result, the value proposition and service that we provided started to become clearer for more customers.

Even with all of these changes, our brand experience was still very text-heavy. Starting in 2012, we shifted our messaging to focus entirely on streaming services. DVD delivery is still available, but not included in our primary brand presentation. We used to think that more content on the page meant that we were providing more information. Instead, we discovered that a simpler message and product expression is what connects with more users.

Related: Becoming a Product Owner: Think Outside the Room and Not On Your Competitors

Simply put, Netflix’s clear identity and quality service make it very easy for people to trust the brand. In other words, it doesn’t take much effort to create new customers who are willing to pay.


Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 2

About the speaker
Gibson Biddle NerdWallet, Board Observer, Executive-In-Residence Product Member

Gib Biddle is the fmr Netflix VP Product Management and is currently the NerdWallet Board Observer and Executive-in-Residence for Product. He joined Netflix as VP of Product in 2005. In 2010 Gib became the Chief Product Officer of his next startup, Chegg, a textbook rental and homework help company that went public in 2014. Today he’s an adviser, speaker and guest lecturer at both Stanford and INSEAD.

Provide your rating for this post
If you liked this post, please use the buttons to the left to share it with a friend or post it on social media. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Read more

Soft Skills Every Product Manager Needs

Soft skills help product managers go from good to great. There are several soft skills every product manager needs, according to a VIP product leader.

Privacy Policy

Products That Count's privacy policy

Product Design Begins In The Shop

The fundamentals of product design are learned hands-on; experiences that you only get in a workshop or on the floor of a manufacturing plant.

/ Join for Free with LinkedIn

Don’t be left behind in your career. Join a growing community of over 300K Product professionals committed to building great products. Become a member for FREE today and get access to :

  • All eBooks
  • All Infographics
  • Product Award resources
  • Search for other members

Coming soon for members only: personalized content, engagement, and networking.