Can video stores compete with a robot?

Yesterday, I received an email from someone whose clients are video stores. Because they subscribe to my print newsletter, I asked them to put me on their email list.

Part of today’s email to their video store clients included this comment:

I had a customer ask us how to compete with RedBox (emphasis mine). I’ve been doing some thinking and asking questions about this. I’ve watched people in our Albertsons store waiting in line to get a $1.00 movie from a machine. I kept thinking how impersonal it was.

So xxx went down and rented at Redbox to see how it worked. He rented a movie. Then when he got home, he got a receipt for the movie in his email. When he returned the movie, he got a receipt again in his email. Later on he got some offers for a free movie and information about new releases soon to be available.

I *love* that they noted right off the bat that this kind of rental was impersonal and created a line – but also noted the smart things RedBox does as well.

Warp speed - Revolve around a center photo credit: fabbio

2 strikes against RedBox, right off the bat. Impersonal. Lines. Every store has lines now and then, but will people stand in line to wait for a machine? Maybe an ATM, but a video dispenser? Time will tell.

If 10 people are in the video store, think about how 10 of them would mill around a RedBox machine (it’s about the size of a Coke machine).

I’m sure you can think of some things to pick on regarding Netflix – while noting that you (you being the video store owner) can clearly see their primary advantage (no late fees).

What’s easy to overlook is the primary advantage to Netflix: No matter how many videos you watch, they get their monthly fee, month-in, month-out. As I’ve noted in the past, you should be looking for ways to implement this model in some part of your business.

Our goal is to give you the tools to compete with RedBox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and anyone else. But, there is one thing you have to do… use the tools!

No doubt. Kinda like all the things we talk about here.

Implement them. Otherwise your time here is largely wasted, don’t you think?

I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk on Donny Deutsch’s The Big Idea last night and he repeated what Dan Kennedy says regularly: “Money loves speed.”

He means speed of implementation. Do it today. Not next month or next quarter, or “someday”.

P.S. I’m testing Windows Live writer to write posts for the next few days (it works on WordPress blogs too) so if you see anything funny (other than that photo of me up on the right), please let me know.