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A study on the most-loved brands in the UK has revealed that Netflix is the nation's number one.
Beating the likes of Google, Apple and Samsung, the entertainment streaming service came out on top in the Love Index – a scoring system based on five separate characteristics.
When it comes to being fun, relevant, engaging, social and helpful – it’s simply the very best.
But why exactly does Netflix score so highly?
Here’s a closer look at the brand and the reasons behind its success.
Engaging with a digital audience
Although Netflix is not a brand solely used by young people, with 81% of adults between the ages of 18 and 35 having a Netflix account, millennials are undoubtedly the brand’s biggest demographic.
Now, with 72% of millennials preferring to spend more on experiences rather than physical things, it certainly makes sense why the brand is successful at targeting them.
When you think about it, Netflix does offer an experience of sorts for its users (albeit a rather lazy one). It also consistently uses social media to engage and delight them.
Netflix's presence on Snapchat drives interest and builds excitement for its biggest TV shows and films.
As well as popular branded filters, earlier this year it launched an out-of-home advertising campaign, allowing passers-by to swap faces with the characters of Frank Underwood and Kimmy Schmidt.
A great combination of both the ‘social’ and ‘fun’ characteristics analysed in the Love Index – it’s just one example of the brand engaging with a digitally-focused audience.
But not only does Netflix make use of social media platforms to get its message out, it also uses an authentic brand voice to ensure that users relate.
On Twitter in particular, its posts are often humorous, relatable and driven by personality.
Creating value for consumers
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Netflix and chill’, and while we’ll casually skip over the sexual connotations, it is interesting to note how the brand has infiltrated popular culture in this way.
Netflix was clearly also fascinated by this phenomenon, recently undertaking some research into how it impacts relationships as a result.
Interestingly, 58% of survey respondents (from over 1,000 people between the ages 18 and 29) said that they bond over Netflix with their significant other.
51% also see password-sharing as a relationship milestone.
This demonstrates how Netflix provides value for users above and beyond the majority of regular brands.
Instead of just engaging on a purely transactional level (i.e. money in exchange for a product), we can see how the product itself provides greater social reward.
Personalisation also plays into this user value.
Part of Netflix’s appeal is that the more you use it, the more it becomes tailored to your unique and individual tastes.
While there has been some criticism of the algorithm, the ability to choose more than one log-in, ‘continue watching’ and be provided with recommendations all goes in its favour.
Social engagement is one thing – but another reason Netflix has become such a well-loved brand is its intent to create long-term credibility.
Though it started as a streaming service for movies, it is now arguably better known for its own original programming.
Series like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and Making a Murderer are all created and produced by the brand itself.
Consequently, it has attracted several high-profile actors for starring roles.
While its biggest competitor, Amazon Prime Video, also does this, its programming tends to provoke less excitement and fewer big names.
There is almost a ‘cool-factor’ attached to the Netflix shows.
The last episode of Breaking Bad or the new Gilmore Girls trailer naturally generates hype, and so, if you’re not part of the conversation, you're probably going to feel like you're missing out.
Luckily for new users, it’s not hard to catch up.
Unlike going to the theatre or cinema, it’s very easy to ‘binge-watch’ a television series in the space of a day or two – and this accessibility undeniably contributes to Netflix’s mass appeal.
Technology and brand partnerships
Back in 2012, Netflix signed a deal with Apple that meant, instead of creating a separate billing account, existing Apple users could simply pay with their existing iTunes log-in.
This was a shrewd move and nicely demonstrates the value of a big brand partnership.
In doing so, not only did it mean that Netflix could make use of Apple’s customer-base, but it also allowed the brand to become their trusted and go-to streaming service - most importantly over rivals Amazon Prime.
What’s more, this helped Netflix solve the problem of getting television users to sign up to the service.
Instead of having to finish the process on a different device (and potentially abandoning it), users would be able to seamlessly do it via their TV screens.
Lastly, and while it’s not a factor that most users might consider when using the service, the fact that Netflix has been reported as being a fair and inclusive employer is certainly worth noting.
In its culture deck, the company outlines a culture of ‘freedom and responsibility’, whereby long hours and adequate results are discouraged, but fair hours and great work are rewarded.
Recently, ASOS suffered intense backlash over reports of poor and ‘exploitative’ working conditions.
While it’s not clear whether the fashion retailer will see any long-term effect from the controversy, it is evident from social media that consumers are more than willing to boycott companies that blatantly show wrong-doing.
For a brand like Netflix, ensuring a fair working culture is just another way of extending its positive reach.
While it might offer a very similar service to competitors, Netflix’s dedication to understanding and providing value for its core audience is what sets it apart.
Finally, a sure-fire sign that Netflix has become more than just a brand, like Google, it that it has even become a verb in its own right.
This means that when someone asks you what you’ve been up to this weekend, you need only say one word in return.