Why Branding Doesn’t Matter

Netflix has made a number of ‘interesting’ branding choices over its lifespan before finally ending up with the beautifully designed, ultra-modern and sleek curved red text on white writing. And then this week, they went and changed it up again! Well, actually they added a new smaller icon to be used in apps and smaller iterations of the brand. Is it great? Not really. Does it matter? No. And here’s why . . .

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As a marketer, I believe staunchly in the power of branding. Every product or service needs to be able to capture their essence in one piece of visual/text-based imagery which becomes their unique brand – especially as we have entered the age of short attention spans. There are two golden rules when it comes to creating a brand and Netflix managed to break both of them with their latest branding announcement. But it doesn’t matter because they are going to get away with it for one reason . . . their commitment to the customer.

The two golden rules of branding are simple. One, your brand needs to reflect your service or product and communicate this clearly to your customer. Two, you need to use the same brand everywhere as inconsistency is confusing!

Netflix has broken both of these rules unveiling a smaller icon to represent the service in iterations more conducive to shorthand such as on smart phones and apps. While they will retain the current brand of red, clean and slightly curved text on a white background, this new logo takes the brand in a significantly different direction. Dropping the ‘etflix’, the simple N appears to be constructed out of a ribbon using overlays and shadowing and is placed on a dark grey background. (Rather similar to one of their previous brands).

But does this matter for the customers?

If it were any other brand, I would say yes without even thinking twice. Uber went through this painful process when they underwent a rebrand earlier in the year creating a logo that customer failed to associate with the brand for a significant period. But it won’t matter for Netflix.

Netflix’s brand is bigger than simply their logo. An integral part of their brand associations is their commitment to customer-centred service design and delivering the best entertainment platform possible. We can overlook this branding decision simply because we cannot overlook the service – it is too addictive because it has been designed so well.

Next to its competitors (Stan, Presto, Foxtel and any other entertainment provider) the interface is so easy to use, it offers the best value proposition on the market with a never-ending list of content and it has kept the customer experience front-and-centre every time the company has decided to modify its service.

That last point is the key to creating an unbeatable service, and it is the same reason why this brand redesign won’t turn off or confuse customers.

This is not a paid advertisement for Netflix. It is just in admiration of this incredible piece of service design!