A Masterclass In Reputation: Netflix’s Grip On The Nation

It is no secret that one of the main responsibilities for PR practitioners, is manging reputation. Whether that involves establishing a reputation, growing a reputation or maintaining a reputation, PR – as an industry – has a governing influence on it all. There are many brands and companies out there that have nailed it, when it has come to establishing a good corporate reputation. But, in my eyes, none have quite managed to come close to Netflix.

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The global streaming service has established itself as the go to platform for movies and series’ with audiences everywhere. This was no accident or mere coincidence… The online brand has cleverly worked their way onto millions of screens across the globe – and how, may you ask, have they manged this? Simple, they give the people what they want.

Netflix has, over recent years, established itself as a name and brand – as much so, that when competitors come along in a bid to challenge their ranking an popularity, their reputation allows them to remain number one with their target audience. Which, it has to be said, now includes over 12.4 million households across the nation; with statistics showing that Netflix is the most popular steaming service, for households across the UK, to subscribe to. This is likely linked to their strong established reputation, but is also due to the large variety of content they stock on their platform – including their successful array of Netflix originals.

A company could do everything else right, nail every aspect of the business model; but if it fails to recognise what its target audience desires, then it will struggle to not only gain popularity and build a reputation, but to succeed full stop. Netflix’s data driven programming helps the brand in two key ways: one, it helps create crown pleasing content, and two, it serves as a way to tempt new showrunners into deals. Both of these things help to build on Netflix’s respected reputation – not only with their audiences but also to strengthen their corporate connections.

The platform constantly releases new content so that they don’t become a passing trend and their audience has a reason to stick around, in anticipation for what will come next. Their original content – both their series’ and a number of their hotly anticipated movie sequels – also play a crucial role in upholding Netflix’s reputation. By producing so much original content, it gives the platform an element of exclusivity.

Audiences can’t get access to the original shows and movies anywhere else, meaning they have to subscribe to the service if they want to watch the stuff everyone is talking about – and because the brand has built up such a large following and popular reputation, there are more people watching their latest releases than not. Netflix also cleverly promote new content on their social media accounts – particularly Twitter – which generates conversation around not only particular shows but also just the brand itself.

Through being so active on social media platforms all of the time, this allows Netflix staff and owners to have access and see what their audiences are also unhappy with. For example, the platform removed House of Cards from its streaming services when the face of the show – Kevin Spacey – was facing numerous sexual assault charges.

This showed their audiences that they are an organisation that isn’t just in it for money. That in fact, they actually care about the content and figures that make up their platform and the image it portrays. This worked in Netflix’s favour and boosted their image in the eyes of the public.

Now I’m sure, if you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll have heard the term ‘Netflix and chill‘? The popular phrase spread through the internet like wildfire and has helped the brand anchor itself in pop culture. This may not seem like something that would be very important to the brand or make much of a difference – but in fact, simply by having this phrase used in pop culture and day to day conversation, Netflix has been able to boost its brand’s awareness and ultimately reputation through virtually no effort what so ever. I know, very clever indeed!

I hope this has allowed you to see and appreciate, all the work that goes into establishing, growing and maintaining a brand reputation.