Most consumer product companies, especially direct-to-consumer brands that start out by serving a specific niche audience, sink or swim based on how they position themselves around a target customer. These brands define “our girl” or “our guy” and constantly make a range of decisions through the lens of this customer.

While this can lead to product and market fit early on, it often can be a challenge to scale. How does a brand remain relevant to the people who “love” it while serving the people who might just “like” it? How can a brand be so defined, yet so flexible? Can it continue making the same products and marketing them the same way, or does it need to shift what it makes and how it sells it? For most companies, serving and scaling these dynamic but equally important constituencies is a constant challenge.

Then Zara happened. The fast-fashion retailer rocketed to prominence over the last two decades by offering—and embodying—nothing more than “the now.” We call this an Amorphous Brand; it has somewhat decentralized decision-making power, which allows it to appeal to and serve a wide customer base.

As a brand, Zara does not connote any specific style or customer. It’s only about selling what is current—often before the people who make what is current current can themselves. Zara and its fast fashion counterparts fundamentally changed the way people shop and companies create, constantly serving up new designs and aesthetics with a three-week turnaround.

Netflix, as both a digital counterpart and evolution of Zara, has changed the way people watch entertainment and, increasingly, how creators create entertainment. The service puts more content in front of users than any network in history. In 2018, Netflix plans to spend over $12 billion on original content according to its cash flow reporting (most reports reference $8 billion—the number on Netflix’s income statement, which underrepresents the actual figure). The expenditure is likely to grow as other entertainment companies like Disney pivot to their own streaming services.

What sets Netflix apart from other streaming services is how it determines what its content will look like and whom it will serve. The company’s 125 million plus subscribers are key to this decision-making, but instead of tailoring content to traditional demographics—women ages 18 to 35, or African American men between 35 and 50—as other TV networks have done for decades, Netflix groups viewers into cohorts that it calls “taste clusters” or “taste communities,” informed by subscriber habits and viewer histories.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, put it this way: “I don’t want any of our shows to define our brand, and I don’t want our brand to define any shows… There’s no such thing as a ‘Netflix show.’ That as a mindset gets people narrowed. Our brand is personalization.”

Netflix has refined its own type of personalization to such an extreme degree, which means that, like Zara, Netflix is taste-agnostic, choosing to develop TV shows across a large number of genres, for a wide range of consumers. Netflix even A/B tests the “movie poster” thumbnails it shows to each user in real time, choosing from dozens and possibly hundreds of examples, which makes it the first company to obliterate the idea that the movie poster is a static object.

A main indicator of a successful Netflix show is one that fits into multiple genres or creates a new one—those that speak to a more niche or underserved audience often receive higher stature in the company ranks than those that garner a massive body of viewers. At the same time, the company cares about ROI and how much bang it gets for its buck. Since money is not finite and there is still opportunity cost—funding one show prevents it from funding another—Netflix cares a lot about the value of each show. But because Netflix does not have a single airwave or channel to fill, its shelfspace is infinite and the company can amortize an individual series over a very long period of time, allowing it to produce more specific shows for a broader range of viewers.

More broadly, Zara and Netflix are studies in a post-target customer world, far cries from the brands that are predicated on specific styles and aesthetics. Importantly, being an Amorphous Brand means implementing and accepting a certain level of decentralization. Zara has no single designer that imputes a singular vision on the entire product line, but rather a group of designers who make smaller decisions closer to a product level.

Netflix, in a similar way, has no single genre or aesthetic it plays to. Additionally, Sarandos is not the only tastemaker, as many other people have the power to “greenlight” projects without his prior approval. Meanwhile, Netflix’s data helps further inform a process that was, often like fashion design, mostly based on gut. As these companies scale and appeal to a wide group of customers, their focus has shifted from appealing to customer groups and personas to specific individuals, with all of the quirks and opportunities that come with them.