Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Netflix has created a brand that few can match.

It hasn't done it through advertising. 

Instead, it's crept into people's lives in a way that makes them feel chill.

When your brand becomes a way of life in the world's lexicon, you've done something right.

A new study, though, offers a couple of surprising indicators about Netflix's innards.

Performed by Morning Consult -- which I believe is a consultancy whose employees stop work at noon -- the study was composed of more than 1.5 million interviews on the subject of 2,000 brands.

Here's what the respondents said about Netflix.

Of all the 2,000 brands, Netflix was the one people most wanted to tell other people about.

You might think everyone already knows Netflix. Here, however, 74 percent of adults still wanted to tell everyone about what they watched on Netflix, what they're going to watch on Netflix and what they did when they were chilling with Netflix.

There was no generational skew about the enthusiasm for Netflix's brand. It was consistent across all ages.

Every brand in the world would commit regrettable acts to achieve that sort of result.

If your customers are desperate to tell other people about your brand, you have less of a need to advertise. 

You can merely be grateful and continue to make a product that maintains that sort of emotional commitment.

The survey did, though, offer a twist.

When it came to which brand most people wanted to buy from, it wasn't Netflix.

Which is odd.

You might expect that if the whole world was enthusing to their friends about Netflix, this would be the brand everyone would want to buy from.

Instead, the brand most people want to buy from is, are you ready, Walmart.

As Morning Consult put it: 

In 2018, no company had a larger pool of potentially interested consumers than Walmart, as 69 percent say they are either very likely or absolutely certain they would consider purchasing from the company.

I do understand that, very soon, the whole of retail will be split between Amazon and Walmart in a cheery two-party standoff.

It's fascinating, though, that Walmart appears to have far less downside than some might think. Perhaps it's something to do with the really quite excellent wine the store has been selling this year.

ByNow that we've mentioned Amazon, it came tied with Google at the top for Most Admired Employer.

Which may only indicate that some people answer researchers in myopic ways.

Still, for your business, which is better? That everyone wants the world to know about your brand? Or that you have the biggest pool of interested customers?

I'm tending toward the latter. 

If you have the biggest pool of interested customers, you've presumably already built a trustworthy brand.

Could it be that all those desperate to tell the world about Netflix are doing it for effect, to show how down with the modern world they are?

What a terrible thought.

Published on: Dec 8, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.