Blockbuster Finally Fights Back

26 Mar

Blockbuster isn’t going down without a fight.  News of its exclusive deal with Warner Brothers that allows the helplessly flailing company early access to new releases may be its saving grace.  I, for one, was surprised: Like many, I was ready to deem  the company a lost cause. 

When Blockbuster first arrived on the video scene in the mid-eighties, it was an instant success.  It found all of the flaws in the local video store models and eagerly implemented innovative solutions.  It offered a wider selection that the average video store.

And it also allowed customers to aisle-shop for videos.  While the concept is universal now, back then, most video stores kept its inventory behind a counter to ward off theft.  Blockbuster allowed consumers the experience of touching, feeling, and reading the rental boxes prior to purchase—and added a magnetic strip to prevent theft.  It was genius.

The market responded instantly.  Blockbuster became the market leader.  And as the company settled into its throne, it became complacent.  Comfortable with its position as the king of video, it sat back and allowed another company to find all of the problems with Blockbuster’s model and implement a better solution.

The Netflix phenomenon didn’t happen overnight.

When Blockbuster first sniffed out the competition, it should have responded.  Even the smallest threats should be thoroughly investigated and watched.  Instead, Netflix was given free reign.

One of my favorite quotes, “If Thomas Edison did market research, he would have invented bigger candles,” speaks to the vision required to revolutionize any prodcut/service.  That visionary talent is exactly what Netflix used to challenge the giant.  Netflix did what no renter thought could be done: It banished those annoying late fees from its rental model.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

The new deal with Warner Bros. may be exactly the edge Blockbuster needs to be a viable contender in the market once more.  The deal “will allow the movie-rental company to offer films for rental the day they go on sale, nearly a month before competitors Netflix and Redbox.”

“’This gives Blockbuster a full four-week lead before either kiosk or other subscription services can offer any Warner Bros. titles.'”

That’s one small victory for Blockbuster.  But for the company to survive another round, it must get innovative–it must envision ways to make the renting experience better.

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One Response to “Blockbuster Finally Fights Back”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Blockbuster Returns: Battle of the Box Office Bandits « Shonda's Marketing Mania - November 3, 2010

    […] Returns: Battle of the Box Office Bandits We last left our aging hero in the gutter, abandoned by  fans for a new-wave of rental providers–providers that were swifter, more […]

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