A Kodak moment; reminds us of the dangers of complacency…

Posted January 2012 in Information, Current affairs

Kodak has officially filed for bankruptcy protection. The photography pioneers struggled to keep up with the times and branched off into printing to try and salvage company revenue.

The news isn’t terrible – certainly not as terrible as when GM took the same action – but it does give time for Kodak to make decisions and save the company without facing its creditors.

The criticism then, from industry professionals, seems to boil down to the simple fact that Kodak has failed to move along with the times. Once one of the biggest photography retailers, Kodak ignored predictions of a Digital Era and tried to keep their customers wanting rolls of film spooled into chunky analogue cameras. The trouble was, the consumers wanted digital and allowed for companies like Canon and Nikon to flourish and grab both technology and market share before Kodak decided to play catch-up. That and the fact that nearly every mobile phone soon had an integrated camera that could do the same job and sometimes just as well.

It is true, though, that Kodak tried to make up for this through their range of printers and ink. The trouble there was, they were up against established, respectable and wealthy companies like Hewlett Packard, Epson and Canon (again).

But doesn’t this sound familiar? Trying to supply what you want to consumers who don’t share the same desires? It seems like ancient history now but ‘lagging behind with the times’ was a major criticism of General Motors. So maybe the customer is always right. When it comes to cars and cameras anyway.

So maybe there is a lesson to be learnt from Kodak’s unfortunate news this week. Yes, especially with technology, things change and yes consumers will always want the new fad. And – most importantly – it is important to cater of that the best you can and remember the basics taught at business school; supply and demand.

With regards to your company’s promotional needs, you can certainly keep with the changing tide. Gift Selection has an array of quality, bespoke products to help with that. The biggest sellers for promotional giveaways are pens. But why not try something a bit more 2013, such as the iPad case or Water Powered Clock? There is nothing worse than being left behind the times and promotional products can be the perfect way to get your brand noticed, and tell them that you’re tomorrow’s company today.

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