Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Desperate Blockbuster

Each attempt by Blockbuster to bring in additional customers seems sillier and more devoid of logic than the previous one. In its latest attempt that smacks of desperation, customers who bring in the address label from their Netflix covers, can get a free rental at a Blockbuster store! I tried hard but I'm unable to come up with the reasoning behind this announcement.

The address flap is something torn off and discarded from the Netflix envelope and so the customer loses absolutely nothing as far as Netflix goes. He has to get a Blockbuster membership for the free rental but the membership is free and gives Blockbuster no additional revenue. Also, the offer requires that the person who wants a free rental be a Netflix customer already. In order to get a free rental, one has to drive to the Blockbuster store to rent and drop off the DVD and this will simply reinforce the fact that getting DVDs in the mail is way more convenient!

Blockbuster's past attempts were anti-Netflix but didn't make much of a dent in the company. This time around, Blockbuster's plan may actually end up helping Netflix! So its easy to guess that for Blockbuster, this measure will be the equivalent of shooting another blank at Netflix.


At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think Blockbuster is waging a battle that ceased to be a battle a long time ago! I'm no longer a member of Netflix (but thaz coz of my schedules n all) but I know while I was a member of Netflix how their basic model was far superior in terms of customer convenience and service...

these ridiculous promotions are in no way going to improve their prospects. but the thing is, they seem to be willing to do anything other than lowering the price of their rentals even a wee bit!

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Bart said...

Very interesting. Only wish this was in India. If it were, Blockbuster might've had to shut the shop within a month or so after this offer. Talking of blockbuster, herez an offtopic comment.
Veyyil releasing tomm. The director's interview in Rediff has increased my expectations :)
Herez an haiku attempt.
"குளிர் காலத்தில் மையலுடன்
எதிர்பார்க்கின்றோம் -
வருகிறது வெய்யில்..."

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Netflix is way ahead in the game. I just feel sorry for Blockbuster, 'coz I used to be a big customer of theirs before I realized that I get most of those for free at the local public library!!!

At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happen to think this may actually be a smart move. Blockbuster has been offering online rentals (same as Netflix model) for a while now, and recently added a nice bonus: if you are an online rental customer with BB, you can drop off the dvd's at a store (rather than mailing it back) and get a free in-store rental. This way, while your next movie is being shipped out of your queue, you will still have a movie on hand. This extra feature is enough for several people to switch from Netflix... if only they are informed.

Now, how does Blockbuster market this program ? Instead of spending on media ads, it has targeted existing Netflix customers by making them give up their addresses to get the free rental. After that will just bombard their mail boxes with the promotions for their online rental... this could be much more effective since it's targeting people who are already familiar with online rentals.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, true. BB tried to copy netflix with their online store but couldn't come close to replicating their success.

bart, ofcourse the offer's valid only for a limited time. 12/5 to 12/21 i think. otherwise they may have to close shop here too :)

skanda, they don't have a dvd rental store in malaysia? that cant be right... u mean online dvd rental store?

chitra, i go to the public library too but cant let go of dvd rentals for those new releases that i just gotta see :)

anon, excellent analysis. really impressive. i missed the part that this gives them the address of current netflix customers. then again, i'm guessing most netflix customers r already BB customers(like me). they probably opted for netflix cos of the inconvenience of driving to BB, the late fees and the bigger library in netflix. so BB's not gonna gain by getting their addresses right?

srivatsan, BB did away with their ridiculous late fees a while ago. that was their biggest step in trying to compete with netflix.

At 10:30 PM, Blogger Bart said...

Balaji, anon has a bigger point there. First, if the existing Netflix customers are not BB customers, then they can be lured into BB.
Second, even if they are as you say, bcoz of the additional features (one which anon mentions) that BB offers on top of Netflix, they can switch to BB or atleast use more BB than they used to. Would say, also wait for Netflix to retaliate sooner or later...

At 3:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB, I did say 'most', not 'all'. :P

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, good departure from the movie posts. The first story is heart-wrenching. And the second one, I experienced it first-hand when I had gone to watch Dhoom2 too, the same day you posted the review here. Bad coincidence :-)

I must also that Iam not a big fan of American parents(and some desis too) carrying their babies like a backpack strapped to their shoulder. Ridiculous. and the dumber ones, who leave their babies inside an enclosed car on a hot afternoon. Every year we read about this in the newspapers, and yet ppl dont seem to learn.

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vijay, I don't think you realized.. you have placed your comment on the wrong post. Based on your comment, it sounds like it has to be posted under the "Of Parents and Children" subject.. not here.. It reads very out of place here..


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