I’ve been fascinated lately with missteps by these mega firms who completely ignore their audience’s needs.
Whether it’s Netflix or Bank of America a business move not based in consumer needs yet aimed at those very consumers will always lead to whiplash.Consumers are empowered by a new understanding of their individual economic situations and a very lack of brand loyalty. After three years of economic turmoil and the requisite downsizing, rigorous hunt for bargains and lack of corporate give-back consumers have created work-arounds for their needs. After Netflix’s Qwikster debacle I perused the 28,000 comments posted to Netflix’s blog, http://blog.netflix.com/2011/09/explanation-and-some-reflections.html.
While the vast majority were angry, a good portion of the comments were by people offering work-around recommendations or telling Netflix where they’re taking their money (ie. Redbox). There were suggestions to go straight to direct competitors such as Redbox or Blockbuster; but also to online resources that offer much of the same television content that Netflix has been pursuing. It has become obvious that Netflix’s lack of consumer understanding and internal obsession with their perceived future has blinded them to their value to the consumer. Bank of America and Citibank are also pursuing their own aims in the face of customer needs. The belief that the consumer is locked in, that the consumer needs their debit card is allowing BofA and Citibank to push forward in their efforts to charge for convenience. Will they too need to post an oops statement backtracking on their plans?