The perils of not developing new products
Founded in 1884 by American inventor George Eastman, Kodak became one of the most recognised brands around the world. Not only did they launch new products such as the Brownie camera in 1900 but years later one of their cameras was taken into space for the Apollo 11 mission. Kodak were never afraid to be ground-breaking. They stayed ahead of the game by inventing and adopting new products combined with new ways of doing things.
They were the first company to develop digitally with a set of new products including the first working digital camera in 1975. The company did stay ahead of the times by developing new technology. When Apple launched one of their first consumer digital cameras in 1994, it was a Kodak product.
However, by 2004 Kodak started to stop selling film cameras in the face of increasingly popular digital alternatives. At this time, Kodak was the largest seller of digital cameras in the US.
By 2007 its market share had fallen to fourth place and by 2010 to seventh. In 2009, Kodak stopped selling 35mm colour film after 74 years of production.
However, the worst was yet to come. During 2011 Kodak shares fell by 80% as it struggled to maintain market share and it was hit with huge pension costs for retired workers. In news which was received with shock around the world, they filed for bankruptcy.
So what went wrong and why did Kodak stop developing new products?
Like many situations similar to this, it was a combination of things but good planning and forecasting might have prevented the start of the problems. The company stopped inventing new products and didn’t harness new technology. They also didn’t appear to find ways of doing things more cost effectively and their market was flooded with competitive products from China.
At Direct Voice and Data, we always encourage our customers to look at upgrade options which includes new telecoms products, this helps them keep one step ahead of competitors.
Regardless of where our customers are in their contract with us, we are always keen to understand how your business is changing, we review the opportunities and recommend effective solutions to support your business in a dynamic market place.
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