Nobody ever starts a business with the intention to fail but Kodak’s failure came due to their lack of innovation.
Innovation is like a child being inquisitive, the knowledge you get from every episode leaves you elated, hungry for more and highly informed.
In 1888, the first Kodak Camera was introduced. This was invented and marketed by a man ame George Eastman who lived between 1854 and 1932. He worked as a former bank clerk and lived in New York.
His invention, Kodak, was a simple box camera that came loaded with 100 exposure rolls of film.
At the point of exhausting the films contained, the machine was then sent back to the factory where they were reloaded and then sent back to the customer.
As beautiful as this invention was, the really beautiful part is the inventor’s amazing marketing strategy. He needed to convince people that much more than usi Kodak is the underlying need to pursue simplicity; what did he do?
He simplified the apparatus, and ensured that persons who had no training on photography were able to use it.
He went further to launch an advertising campaign where he coined a slogan to encourage women and also show that the tool is easy to use. The slogan was “You press the button, we do the rest.”
In no time at all, Kodak became a household name in the world of photography. Professional photographers found it useful, amateurs found it useful too,etc.
Ten years after Kodak started that was 1898, a journal reported that 0ver 1.5 million shots had been taken by Kodak users.
At this time, the use of kodak was more for personal uses. Families used it to create memories on occasions like weddings, graduation,etc. individuals used it to save memories too.
For many years, Kodak was popular. It is even reported that at a time, it captured over 80% of the market.
What went wrong then?
As time progressed, Kodak adopted a business model called the “razor and blades” model. This model worked like this; razors were sold with a small profit margin. Thereafter, the customers will definitely have to buy the razor blades which happen to be the consumables.
So, here is what they did: cameras were sold at affordable prices and then sold the film and printing sheets for a higher price.
Employing this model, the revenue generation for Kodak became massive after applying this.
As times passed, technology changed and also progressed, the use of films and printing sheets that are Kodak’s main source of revenue generation gradually came to a halt; this was because of the invention of digital cameras in 1975.
For Kodak, they disregarded and underestimated the capabilities of this new invention, in fact it is reported that when the Inventor of Digital cameras, Steven Sasson told Kodak about it, their response was “That’s cute but don’t tell anyone about it. That’s how you shoot yourself in the foot”.
After ignoring teh digital cameras, Kodak began to go down the drain, ran at losses which led to the factories shut down, Steven Sasson’s idea was implemented by a Japanese company who were named “Fuji Films” and as expected Kodak was left behind.
When starting a business, keep the door open for innovation. Customers are kings, as times are changing, your products should evolve too. There is no profit staying still and the same without growth.
Dear Business owner, here is our charge to you today, EVOLVE!.
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