Down the street from my new residence here in Amherst sits a store called “Captain Video”. While once in competition with giant Blockbuster, a video rental store like this is a rarity today. With services like Netflix, on demand from cable providers, and Redbox, the traditional process of renting movies to watch has become obsolete. While Netflix and others are thriving, video rental stores like Captain Video are on their last legs. Even though both are currently in very different positions, both are still utilizing marketing.
The success of the new era of streaming services stems from the level of convenience afforded to viewers. This is a clear weakness of a Captain Video in comparison, so it must look to other ways to entice customers to continue to walk through its doors. What Captain Video does to differentiate itself from its competition is that it provides a unique environment. The store plays off the inevitable sense of nostalgia, with comic book style font to differentiate the various genres of the hundreds of movies. The checkout counter is flanked by a vast selection of movie candy, only enhancing childhood memories. Although all the elements of nostalgia are great for maintaining the segmented market of movie viewers who like to choose from physical copies, it is the list of specials printed in the same large comic book font behind the counter that has the ability to attract a broader range of consumers. Depending on the day of the week there are discounts and deals for renting various combinations of new and old movies. By doing this, consumers feel like they are getting value for the purchase, while the store could be acquiring a potential repeat customer. By providing a nostalgic environment with several options for deals, Captain Video is still surviving while almost all other of its previous similar competition has died out.
While a service like Netflix is continuing on an upward trajectory, it has not stopped its efforts to market to both attract and maintain customers. Last week, Netflix utilized social media such as Twitter and Facebook to unveil a new page on its website which is strictly clips of spoilers from tv shows on the site. Doing this might seem a bit odd, but it does accomplish a couple of things. By using this form of advertising, Netflix is creating a buzz by embracing the “spoiler”, which to avid Netflix viewers is a cardinal sin to disclose. Netflix is also advancing its position and presence in social media, as the word “spoiler” was largely created via Twitter and Facebook. By acknowledging this and playing off it, Netflix is showing an awareness towards its customers which can only help to maintain the current positive relationship.