In 1976 Kodak owned 90 percent of the U.S. photographic film market. But in 2012 they filed for bankruptcy.
Many people think Kodak were too slow to recognise the threat posed by digital cameras, but in fact, Kodak invented the first digital camera in 1975!
However instead of developing it, they sat on it – they didn’t want to damage their highly profitable film business.
At the time it must have seemed like a good idea (hindsight is always 20/20), but what a catastrophic mistake!
The people at Kodak simply asked the wrong marketing question. They asked, ‘How can we make more money today?’ when they should have asked, ‘What does our business mean to people?’
If Kodak had asked the right question they’d have realised that they weren’t in the photographic film business at all – they were in the business of saving memories and telling stories.
Most SMEs fall into the same trap. With limited resources and the pressure of time it’s easy to end up living hand-to-mouth and choosing the quickest way to make a sale.
However, stopping to ask, ‘What is it that people actually buy from us? What do they really want?’ will make a huge difference to your business. Not just in the way you develop your sales and marketing messages, but in how you decide what you should be selling.
Canon and Sony asked the right question, and focused on developing 21st century storytelling technology. They recognised that to stay in the game they needed to focus on the message, not the medium.
Small businesses need to do the same.
If you’re not asking the right questions, or you’re struggling with the answers, give us a call and book a Brand Clarity Clinic.