Netflix has come to town with kid-friendly offerings that are nibbling away at the traditional audience share of such stalwarts as Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and other syndicated youth-oriented shows. According to an analysis by the Sanford C. Bernstein Company, in the first quarter of 2012 Netflix has taken a sizeable bite out of viewer ratings for kid-friendly networks. Included in the analysis were Viacom, the Walt Disney Company and other syndicated shows.

Bernstein used data from TiVo DVRs to compare the viewing patterns of households with Netflix and those without the service. Now Disney and Viacom are a tricky situation. If they pull their premium kids programming from Netflix, it would cost each of them about $75 million in revenue starting in 2013. And yet withholding some kids’ offerings from the Netflix mix would undoubtedly make the Internet streaming service less attractive to youth and family viewers. 

This type of indecision impacts revenue—and leaves some aspects of future profits ambiguous at best.

If you are experiencing erosion of your market share, it’s time to act. What can you do when your competition begins to chip away at your business?

The Basics
  • Seek out unique ways to work with clientele and staff.
  • Set up scenarios that can prepare you for trends, slides, the unexpected—and the expected as well.
  • Keep your product and/or service as fresh and inviting as possible—seek to be unique and trend friendly.
  • Do more for your clients than the competition. Keep your promises; be proactive; anticipate as much as possible.
  • Consistently over-deliver

1. Follow the Jeff Bezos rule: During meetings, set up an empty chair to represent your customers. If your customer is not “in the room,” then how can you really consider them?
2.  Create a “customer centric culture:” Develop an atmosphere where your people are constantly doing what they can to meet and fulfill the needs of customers. Keep in mind that you have external customers as well as internal ones, i.e. your employees. Happy employees mean happy clients, too.
3.  Constantly evaluate future risks and rewards; prepare for different eventualities and economic situations. Ask yourself this: Where will our customers be in 5, 20, 40 years? How will the economic climates impact our business? How will prices for commodities influence the market?
4.  Capitalize on how well you fail and succeed: Have you turned failures into what makes your company most successful? Failures are a perfect opportunity to learn and they are great platforms for success.
5. Swap jobs with each other: Allow people in your company to exchange jobs for 1-2 days. This is a terrific way to get more insight into your organization’s blind spots. Different perspectives yield new returns on investment.
The Bottom Line
  • Study your situation
  • Evaluate your competition
  • Welcome input from employees and associates
  • Study diverse resources
  • Act decisively and with forethought
(Esther Weinberg is a leadership expert and a cable veteran with a 20-year track record in the industry. She creates breakthrough strategies for such companies as ESPN, Microsoft, Scripps Networks, NBCUniversal Cable,Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., Motorola, Headline News Network and MTV Networks. She is the contributing author to the leadership book “Breaking Through” by acclaimed author Barbara Stanny. Esther is a Board Member of NAMIC-Southern California, a mentor for WICT Southern California and a member of the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association. Sign up for her FREE leadership newsletter with valuable information at

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