I’ve been hearing a lot of “to do” about Redbox and Verizon teaming up to create, as it’s being called, the Netflix killer.
And to all of this racket I say: “Redbox isn’t going to ‘kill’ anything!”
I, more than anyone I know, am devoted to the idea of constructing simple and immediate entertainment options. But should Redbox ever be a part of such a branding venture?
Absolutely not. At least not as Redbox stands now.
Redbox, as some may not know, was initially started by McDonald’s in 2002. Back then, its kiosks sold groceries as well as DVDs at 11 rental spots around Washington D.C. The kiosks became a hit, and the rest is history.
Truly, I detest the RedBox concept. Yeah I know, you can rent DVD’s for an exponentially low price ($1 a piece these days is nice). But my beef with Redbox is not price. It’s with the overall lack of customer experience. For example, new releases are hardly available when you hope to rent them. The kiosks take just one person at a time and, if there is a line behind you, you feel the need to rush to make your selection to avoid the near gastric groans of those waiting their turn. Plus, many kiosks are housed outside the store, potentially posing a horrible situation on rainy and snowy days.
Yet, what is most deplorable about Redbox is the modicum of films they offer. Unlike Netflix, the chance of renting a foreign classic, a domestic classic or just about any film that is not a Hollywood blockbuster is a near impossibility. How then is Redbox going to compete with the breath of physical DVDs and steaming video offered by Netflix?
While I have my beef with Netflix, I would suffice to say that this paring of brands will not create much of a ripple at all. That is, unless RedBox does a complete branding overhaul because the brand is right now associated with the kiosks. (And it must cast a far wider net of selections than it has now.) An about face that fervently embraces its customer’s desires is what Redbox needs first and foremost.