Office Hours

Magner Sanborn watched as months of work for Netflix went down the drain

For six months Spokane ad firm Magner Sanborn developed a logo and an extensive brand and marketing components for Qwikster, a top-secret business plan by Netflix to split its company into a new division.

In September, Netflix jump-started the launch, surprising both its rental-DVD customers and its Spokane-based ad team, which expected the Qwikster announcement to come several weeks later.

Netflix told its millions of customers that those wanting just DVDs would sign up with Qwikster; those wanting streaming video over the Web would continue using Netflix.

But within three weeks of the Qwikster launch, Netflix’s management team changed its mind and scrapped the plan for two companies.

That reversal came after thousands of Netflix customers protested the split by either canceling their subscriptions or publicly lashing the company for raising prices by more than $6 per month for both DVDs and streaming movies.

The impact on Spokane’s Magner Sanborn was company whiplash, said the firm’s president, Dennis Magner. “I was as surprised as anyone to see the launch, based on the timing,” he said.

The full story appears on Spokesman.com at this link: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/oct/20/netflix-reversal-felt-here/

After the 30-person Spokane company spent thousands of hours designing dozens of possible logos, developing a marketing campaign and conducting audience research to see how the strategy affected customers, Netflix buried the Qwikster brand.

Magner Sanborn continues doing work for Netflix. It first began working with the California-based rental video company six years ago, Magner said




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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.





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