Compare Netflix to Blockbuster
Visit Blockbuster.com. You can research movies, find a nearby store or buy (not rent) a movie. Just for fun, I clicked on “Buy Online” and tried to buy the first movie I saw, “American Wedding.” It’s on back order!
If you want to rent a movie, you can locate a Blockbuster store, go there, find a movie, get in line, pay and finally leave. And you’d better return the movie on time, or you’ll get whacked with late charges.
Blockbuster forced an existing business onto the Internet, and it looks and feels lame. Netflix created a business for the Internet, and it looks and feels perfect.
Just before this issue went to press, I learned that Blockbuster plans to start a mail-order DVD rental service. Looks as if it got the hint.
A Week Without a Mattress Sale?
We’re not likely to see a week when no mattresses are on sale. This illustrates another problem/solution: Marketers who keep humming the same tune month after month.
Mattress marketers always are offering a 50-percent discount. I don’t think anyone in history has ever paid full price for a mattress—except maybe at Macy’s. Is the mattress any good? Is the service any good? Problem? The offer’s getting tired. Solution? Rethink it.
A snap-pack from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance newsletter landed in my mailbox with a “professional” rate offer of $10 for 12 issues, save $32 or 76 percent, risk-free, money-back guarantee, act by Feb. 26 to get this special deal. I received 12 or 13 mailers—from different publishers—that same month with the exact same offer. Maybe it works. I suspect it’s fading. Needs new thinking. Same problem, same solution.
Quality Paperback Book Club states that it’s “gonna make you a welcome-back offer you can’t refuse”: five books for $5. No kidding? This is new thinking? Maybe … they used to offer three books for $3.