Strategic Analysis (Nov 2007)
Netflix, the online subscription-based DVD rental service aimed to better satisfy customer in a way competitors didn’t, customized and personalized service with unlimited monthly rentals from a great variety of film offerings. Now they want to leverage their strengths to enter into the Video on Demand market
Table of Contents
Netflix Strategic Analysis
Netflix vs. Blockbuster: Comparative assessment of strategic differences 3.
Netflix Competitive Advantage
3.1 Home video industry - Positioning Perspective
3.2 VRIO Perspective
Video On Demand (VOD) – Strategic Advantage
1. Netflix Strategic Analysis
Netflix, an online subscription-based DVD rental service aimed to better satisfy customer in a way competitors didn’t, with unlimited monthly rentals from a great variety of DVD offerings and personalized service. Netflix created a distinctive value proposition by understanding customer needs and competition offerings; Netflix found the sweet spot to align the firm’s capabilities with the customer needs in a way that competitors could not match them, creating unique activities to deliver to that gap(1). To take the movie rental to the next level, Netflix used the internet instead of rental stores and offered service only to DVD users while rental stores were still renting VHS. The combination of internet and DVD technology made competition irrelevant, by reaching in an untapped market, Netflix expanded existing industry boundaries and reached for the blue ocean(1). Netflix started building their offering from customer’s frustration such as narrow diversity of films and stressful return due dates which implied late fees. Netflix was able to hold large amounts of inventory in their warehouses without having the physical space constringency of a rental store, added convenience of delivery and the unlimited monthly rentals of a subscription model, and using technology for customization and personalization of their service. Leveraging best practices from internet retailers (ebay, Amazon) helped Netflix to identify characteristics that were most appealing to internet customers (2). Understanding what customer valued allow Netflix to strengthen their critical success factors. 2. Netflix vs. Blockbuster: Comparative assessment of strategic differences. 1
Blockbuster focused their strategy on impulse rental customers, while Netflix focused on customers that desired selection and for which watching movies was a way of entertainment. While Blockbuster business relied on newest release (70% of revenue came from hit movies) (2) they kept a narrow variety of movies and their financial success depended highly in maximizing the rental of those hit movies in inventory. To be able to increase utilization, the movies had a return due date and late fees would be applied if returned after. Netflix business model promoted lower profile films, while working in new relationships with studios to lower cost and quicker access of new releases (only 30% of revenue came from new releases)(2). Netflix continued making deals with movie producers and acquiring movies to enlarge the diversity and size of their DVD library; simultaneously applied the subscription model which allowed customers to reach an unlimited amount of movies per month (keeping three at a time). Blockbuster scope was to expand geographical coverage nationwide, owning most of their stores (80%) and franchising the rest (2). Netflix had a similar geographical goal, creating more distribution centers (inexpensive warehouses) improving upon its national wide coverage and reducing delivery time. Using technology to develop a recommendation system and personalized their service, Netflix had established a strong market position with a large and solid base of subscribers by the time Blockbuster entered the online movie rental business. Blockbuster had the power...
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