12 years ago Kodak was warned of Chapter 11 bankruptcy risk
in september 2000 a power point presentation was sent to the chief marketing officer of eastman kodak that essentially warned the company of a collapse of its business if it did not take action in response to the emerging changes in consumer habits and the market it operated in.
the market that kodak was operating then was fast changing brought about by stand alone digital cameras, cameras in cell phones, the computer and the internet. at that time less and less people were using cameras that needed film, and therefore less pictures were printed and more and more pictures were being shared electronically or digitally. while smartphones were not yet widespread then, cell phones already had basic cameras and were able to take acceptable pictures. cameras in cell phones was an emerging trend during that time.
that development among consumers were affecting the very market thatr kodak was operating in. it was starting to shrink at a rapid pace.
the change that was happening was among the consumers themselves. habits were being changed, usage was altered and consumers were substituting kodak products with other forms of products outside film and picture printing. this was a major revolution in consumer needs and wants. kodak in effect was becoming irrelevant to the consumer and not even considered as a choice or option.
the powerpoint presentation was not based on any consumer or market research or any business data. it was just based on observing what was happening to consumers, the environment and the author’s personal experience. it was calling for a major and almost reinvention of the marketing philosophy and strategy for kodak.
not having real data, it was not exhaustive but the idea was to spark some start page thinking and to develop a roadmap for a major change in strategy for kodak with the end view of not just growing the business but actually helping ensure its survival as a company.
the powerpoint presentation intended to paint a preliminary picture of changing consumer habits, needs and wants that will change the market that kodak was competing in for a change in marketing strategy for the company and eventually lead to new product development for the company that will probably be very different from what kodak was manufacturing and selling at that time.
the powerpoint presentation was sent to another marketing officer, a woman but no action was taken on it.
we wonder now what would have happened if kodak took the contents of the powerpoint presentation and how kodak would have avoided filing a chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that it filed in january this year.
read the full powerpoint presentation here: KODAK Growth Focus