With great content comes great commodity. At least, that appears to be the pattern for entertainment companies. After a string of successful Netflix-original shows including House of Cards and Stranger Things, the media company is expanding into branded merchandise, following in Disney’s footsteps.
This began with a test run of Stranger Things t-shirts, mugs, hats, and jewelry at mall staple Hot Topic. More recently, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his staff debuted a series of flashy Christmas sweaters during a recorded video interview. Their over-the-top style — just in time for ugly sweater season — pays homage to one of the key symbols in Stranger Things.
The $32.99 sweaters will be sold on Target’s website as well as at physical locations. This choice of vendor suggests that Netflix is trying to move away from the novelty item-packed shelves of Hot Topic towards larger, more traditional apparel retailers.
While Disney is trying to make the leap from traditional media to digital, Netflix appears to be on the reverse track. The brand has demonstrated its mastery of technology, but can it achieve Disneydom?