Know When to Eat the Humble Pie

It’s easy for a wildly successful corporation to get a little full of themselves. But sometimes, they need to get full of Humble Pie instead.

A lot can be learned from Netflix, a company that tarnished its great reputation over the past few months with “price restructuring” plans.

Last month, in a post on the Netflix blog, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings apologized and FINALLY started doing exactly what he had to do to get back in the positive views of the consumers: listen to his customers. That means that the idea for Qwikster, the DVD only site, was canceled.

“It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs,” he wrote. “This means no change: one website, one account, one password… in other words, no Qwikster.”

This is a great lesson in what corporate hubris can do in the age of consumer empowerment. According to Google Finance, there was a 58% drop in the company’s stock value over the past three months.

This 180 degree turn is one that will be a case study for business schools for years to come. A year from now, Netflix will likely be moving along just fine as their streaming business becomes stronger. What will not change, however, is the way Reed Hastings handled the situation. People will always look back at the time he had to back pedal as fast as possible, and how much he damaged his good reputation.

Be careful out there.  And remember, you don’t have to make going-to-market decisions alone.

Source: MarketingProfs Daily Fix