Tag Archives: global marketing

Netflix Launches Netflix.shop

Movies have long generated revenue from sales of merchandise related to the shows (think Disney). According to trade group Licensing International, sales of licensed products tied to shows was roughly $49 billion in the U.S. in 2019, and $128 billion globally. That’s a big number and one that has attracted Netflix to enter the market with its own merchandise line and shop.

Not content to have us all streaming entertainment constantly, Netflix now wants us to shop on its platform, too. Netflix has launched an online store with items that are highlighted in its shows. While Netflix holds a dominant lead in streaming, it also needs to have new sources of revenue in order to expand. Competitors such as Hulu and HBO Max charge streaming fees, but they also show commercials to generate additional revenue. Netflix does not have that revenue stream.

The new online store will sell apparel, merchandise, and collectibles from favorite shows such as “Stranger Things,” “Lupin,” and other shows. Limited edition street wear and action figures based on “Yasuke” and “Eden” (anime series) are now available. Lupin merchandise includes baseball caps, shirts, hoodies, throw pillow, and even a side table. All of the Lupin products were designed and produced in cooperation with the Louvre Museum. Future products will be based on popular series including “The Witcher” and “Stranger Things” along with Netflix logo apparel.

This isn’t Netflix’s first foray off screen. It has previously created video games based on popular shows and has agreements with department stores to sell products as well.

What will you buy?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What movies and shows can they list that have licensed products for sale?
  2. Have they purchased items related to these shows?
  3. Show Netflix’s new store: https://www.netflix.shop/
  4. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for marketing a product. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team outline a marketing plan for Netflix.shop and have each team select three different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.
  6. How can this plan be expanded to new geographies outside the U.S.?

Source:  New York Times; Reuters; other news sources

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Naomi Osaka and Celebrity Endorsements

There is no doubt that celebrities make powerful brand ambassadors. In particular, professional athletes command a great deal of attention in the media and with consumers.  People tend to idolize these athletes and emulate them to the extent of buying products from the brands that they endorse (hey, if I thought Naomi Osaka’s brand of racquet would help my tennis game – I’d buy it!). The problem is that if an athlete fails to keep public goodwill, the brands might falter. Therefore, there are behavior contracts that guide and govern athletes with respect to brands.

One professional athlete recently in the news is Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka. At the French Open, Osaka won her match but declined to take part in a mandatory post-match news conference, thereby incurring an automatic $15,000 fine. Fines for athletes are not uncommon. At most major sports events players are contractually obligated to face the press following play. Osaka declined to meet with press and stated that she was willing to pay any fines. She cited caring for her mental health and depression as her reasons for not holding press conferences, stating that she “often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health.”

But, the Roland-Garros tournament officials took it a step further than a fine and threatened Osaka with increased penalties plus possible suspension from tennis if she failed to comply. Osaka subsequently withdrew from the tournament.

Osaka’s celebrity status has served her well in tennis. She has more than 2.2 million Twitter followers, and has earned more than $60 million in prize money and endorsements, including brands Nike, Nissan, GoDaddy, Levi’s, and more. She is a four-time Grand Slam singles champion and the highest-paid female athlete ever. Osaka is also an activist who has taken high-profile stands on BLM and other causes. All of these factors make her a valuable endorser to brands.

Among the questions following Osaka’s withdrawal are how to respect and support athletes’ mental wellness, and how should brands respond? (To date, all of Osaka’s sponsors are staying with her.)

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the communication process: sender, encoding, message, media, decoding, and receiver.
  2. Discuss the importance of celebrities in brand endorsements.
  3. Poll students: How are purchases influenced by athletes and celebrities?
  4. What is their opinion of Naomi Osaka’s move at the French Open?
  5. What are brands responsibilities to endorsers? To consumers?
  6. Have students list all of the celebrities/brands pairings they can remember.
  7. What makes these pairings successful? Unsuccessful?
  8. Divide students into team. Have each team select a product or brand and then find a celebrity who could successfully endorse the brand.
  9. Debrief: Poll students about their opinions about the suggested pairings. Why were the celebrities selected?

Source: CNBC; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Amazon’s Latest Buy – MGM Studios

Amazon is not a company that is content to rest on current successes. The company seems to constantly be innovating new products and technologies. And, when not innovating, Amazon loves to buy as much as its customers. The latest acquisition for Amazon is its purchase of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio for a price of roughly $8.45 billion. While not as large as Amazon’s 2017 purchase of Whole Foods (at $13.7 billion), nonetheless it is a substantial investment that seems destined to take Amazon even further into the entertainment business.

The purchase appears to be an effort to increase its Prime Video streaming to help it compete with rivals such as Netflix and Walt Disney Co. By acquiring MGM, Amazon gains more than 4,000 films including key franchises such as James Bond and a strong TV catalog of 17,000 shows that includes The Handmaid’s Tale and more. Prime Video is an important element in Amazon’s customer retention strategy and gives consumers value to stay with Amazon’s membership program.

Other entertainment companies are not waiting around to see what happens. Discovery announced a $43 billion deal to merge with WarnerMedia after a spinoff from AT&T. Sports content also has Amazon’s attention – it signed a deal with the NFL to broadcast Thursday Night Football in 2022.

What will you watch next?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Show a news video describing the Amazon purchase: https://youtu.be/msEU9hR6YP0
  3. Which strategy is Amazon using by purchasing MGM? Why?
  4. Discuss with class: Why did Amazon purchase MGM?
  5. Which competitors will be most pressed by this acquisition? Why?
  6. Discuss how grocery retailers will compete with the combined Amazon/MGM?
  7. How can these companies market their services to compete with the company?
  8. Is the MGM acquisition a good move by Amazon?

Source: Associated Press; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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