Twenty years ago, no one recognized the Netflix logo. But today, with more than 100 million members, customers instantly identify the logo and trust Netflix in a way that counts — with their credit cards. But it wasn’t always that way. Remember when Netflix announced its plan to split its streaming and DVD service with the launch of “Qwikster” in 2011? 800,000 customers cancelled Netflix that quarter.
I grew up in marketing, switched over to product, and became interested in branding after success building Sesame Street, Schoolhouse Rock, and Madeline software. I signed well-established brands to long-term relationships, then brought the brands to life within children’s educational software.
When I joined Netflix as VP of Product in 2005, I wanted to do more. My goal was to help a young company establish a world-class product and brand. As a product leader, my job was to delight customers in hard-to-copy, margin-enhancing ways. Based on experience, I viewed building a brand as one of the most important of these “hard-to-copy” tactics.
By the time I joined Netflix, I had a somewhat nuanced view of how marketing and product should work together: marketing defines the brand and product brings the brand to life by building a great product. Together, the two teams hope to create a world-class brand and product.