The real lessons from Kodak’s decline
Kodak is a company that was highly popular and was one of its kind during its era of superiority and dominance. It can actually be called the Google of its days. It was highly inventive, highly innovative and successfully rolled out new, sustaining innovations.
This led to a 90% market share in film and 85% of camera sales in the United States. Well into the 1990s, Kodak was rated as one of the world’s most valuable brands.
In 1996, Kodak was ranked the world’s fourth most valuable brand behind Disney, Coca-Cola and Mc Donald’s. Who knew this was bound to undergo a drastic change?
With the onset of Digital, Kodak started experiencing problems. The company was sitting on the Digital camera and digital technology since 1973. The digital shift found the company ill prepared to put out products that were to compete with products from other companies such as Fujifilm.
Kodak had a keen understanding of its customers as well as that of controlling markets. Digital photography however took Kodak by surprise and even though they had the expertise to make digital cameras, they let the opportunity go.
Digital cameras scraped the need for the stores where their films were processed and pictures produced. Fujifilm did not take the chance and took the opportunity by the horns. It moved into digital photography and is currently doing good business. It did not stop there and has currently advanced its products to LCD screens, cosmetics and is producing medicine.
Whereas Kodak wanted a strategy that enabled them to control the customer, technology made this more difficult. Customers shifted to other companies leaving Kodak bankrupt and lacking audience.