The recent announcement that Amazon is to close its Lovefilm DVD rental service reminded me of the decline of Blockbuster Video.
Once the staple of everybody’s Friday night in – going to the local video shop to rent a film that wouldn’t be available to buy for months – Blockbuster and other similar outlets were being replaced by on demand services.
Although the real reasons behind Blockbuster’s failure are complex, it was bound to happen sooner or later even without its boardroom battles and flawed business model.
And it was bound to happen for Lovefilm.
Even as far back as the late 90s I can remember ringing up Virgin Media to get on demand movies. Yes, over the phone speaking to a real human.
That’s where people were getting their Friday night film fixes even then. So for a DVD rental service like Lovefilm to emerge, as in-store video rental was declining and instant(ish) streaming was on the up, seemed odd. I for one didn’t get it even at the time and never used it. I’ll watch my movie now, not in 3-5 working days – thank you.
Amazon and Nextflix are getting it right. For now. Streaming media with subscription options and exclusive content is easy to live with. Both brands have evolved and are the first real long term threat to set top service providers like Sky, BT and Virgin. Those three brands have also done well to evolve and should continue to do so.
This all rings true for most businesses. You need to evolve. Carphone Warehouse wouldn’t be around today if it only sold phones for cars (was that ever a thing?). Apple’s rise and further rise was primarily thanks to the intense popularity of the iPod (what’s an iPod grandad?). And so on.
Discover what you do best and what your customers want you to do next.
But be careful. Make sure your brand and messaging evolves with your business. Who even associates Netflix with DVD rental anymore? The message evolved.
At LEC, our business was founded as a single-person media relations consultancy (or PR firm, for the un-evolved) – something we do more and more infrequently as we’ve adapted to encompass other communications channels like internal comms and social media (of course). We’re heavily involved in several business community support projects too. And the design & web side of the business also goes from strength to strength.
We’re introducing template design into the mix a lot more too, as tools like MailChimp and Canva become more accessible to marketing novices, we’re delivering setup and coaching support as opposed to ongoing management.
As a micro business. We’ll grow by evolving further. We won’t get drawn in to becoming “the biggest and best” at something and sticking to it.
It’s been a great journey so far and it’s about to get more exciting.
You should come along.