No Risk. No Story. An Exploration of Branding Risks through Netflix’s Revolutionary Pivot

In the branding world, there’s a saying that we at ReFrame Strategy Consulting firmly believe in: „No risk. No story.” Taking risks, in essence, is the lifeblood of any successful brand’s story. And no brand exemplifies this better than Netflix.

Netflix, a company that started as a humble DVD rental service, took a substantial risk when they pivoted to streaming. At a time when their DVD rental model was still profitable and streaming was a nascent and untested concept, they boldly stepped off the beaten path. Today, they are a global powerhouse in the entertainment industry, redefining the way we consume content. Let’s examine how this risk unfolded and what lessons it holds for brands aiming to carve their stories.

Netflix's Pivot: A Calculated Risk

Netflix started in 1997, offering a convenient DVD-by-mail service that disrupted the traditional brick-and-mortar rental industry. As broadband internet proliferated, however, they saw an opportunity. In 2007, Netflix launched its streaming service alongside its DVD rental service. This move, while groundbreaking, was not an immediate success.

In the early days, Netflix’s streaming library was limited and dependent on licensing agreements with content providers. Simultaneously, their DVD service remained profitable, which presented a challenge: should Netflix stick to their comfortable, tried-and-tested DVD rental model or forge ahead into the uncertain world of streaming?

They chose the latter, transforming into a streaming-first platform. The risk was significant, but so was the potential reward. As high-speed internet became more common and devices capable of streaming proliferated, Netflix’s gamble began to pay off. Today, they have over 200 million subscribers worldwide and have transitioned from solely distributing content to producing original, critically-acclaimed shows and films.

ReFrame's Pivot: Our Risk, Our Story

Much like Netflix, ReFrame was born out of a risk. We started as a successful social media agency, known for our innovative campaigns and robust community building. However, we recognized the untapped potential in a wider, more strategic focus.

Just as Netflix ventured into streaming, we ventured into strategy consulting, specializing in communication, concept creation, and design. We saw a need for deeper understanding, a need to navigate the complexities of business problems and societal structures through creativity. It was a considerable risk, given our established position in the social media landscape.

The transformation was not without its challenges, but we drew inspiration from brands like Netflix. We used our experience in project management and social media strategy to inform our new services, offering a unique perspective that combines deep, strategic understanding with creative, out-of-the-box thinking.

Embrace Risks, Write Your Story

Netflix’s pivot from DVD rentals to streaming is a powerful testament to the power of risk in crafting a brand’s story. Similarly, our transition from a social media agency to a strategy consulting firm has been a thrilling and rewarding journey. Both stories underscore the importance of taking calculated risks, embracing change, and never settling for the status quo.

So, what’s your brand’s story? Are you willing to take the leap, to embrace the unknown, to redefine your industry? As Batman, one of our brand personas, would say, „It’s not who we are underneath, but what we do that defines us.” At Reframe, we are ready to do what it takes to help you write your brand’s legendary story. Let’s take the risk, together.

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