Rebranding is no longer just about slapping a new logo onto some compliment slips. That’s what DVD giant Netflix has recently found out after they announced in a blog post that they would be splitting their business into two and renaming the DVD rental arm “Qwikster”. Although Netflix has secured the web domain for this, they neglected to secure the Twitter handle, which belongs to a Mr. Jason Castillo. A fan of football and profanity, Mr. Castillo refuses to hand over the handle until Netflix agrees to pay him a large amount of money.
This is a big oversight by Netflix. For a company that has completely modernised the way people rent and watch movies, it made a very old school error by not obtaining the Twitter handle prior to the launch announcement. Social media is quickly becoming the most important way in which large companies interact with consumers and easy proof of this is in the 111,000 followers Netflix currently has on Twitter.
Selling Twitter accounts is still rare and according the the BBC, Twitter will do its best to protect trademark owners by preventing people from “squatting” on handles in order to make money. It’s not yet clear what avenues Netflix may have to take but this will be their next challenge on top of negotiating a skeptical fan base as it splits its business into two.