Sound Off Podcast Episode 2: Netflix, What the F***?

panel from the web comic The Joy of TechNetflix’ stock price, brand value and customer goodwill all seem to be tanking after the announced split of its video streaming and mail-order DVD businesses. Not only are most vocal customers unhappy with the changes, but Netflix communicated change poorly twice and made customers feel like they weren’t the top priority, which is unusual.

Netflix wants to get ahead of the sea-changes in its industry, but angering customers while launching a new brand with a video apology isn’t usually recommended by most communication firms.

Separating DVD rentals will no doubt simplify that eventual transition, but many current customers don’t seem to care. Instead, they’re creating new headaches for Netflix and Qwickster, which seems a name better suited for a chocolate milk enthusiast site than a DVD-by-mail service.

How did it all go wrong? What is the fallout for the company’s PR, social media, and branding efforts? And what could have they done differently? Tune in to hear a conversation between Sterling Communications VP Kevin Pedraja and creative director Kawika Holbrook in the latest podcast episode of Sound Off.

Sound Off: Episode 002 – Netflix, WTF?

(Note: At one point during the podcast, Netflix founder Reed Hastings is referred to as Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. Sterling regrets the error.)

Kawika Holbrook is creative director at Sterling Communications. Follow him on Twitter @kawika or email him at