[Case Study]: Big Brand Failures; Lessons to Learn From

Jan 6, 2017
dsim image

A good marketing strategy is the most effective way to increase the brand awareness. But, when the marketing strategies go wrong and turn into a marketing failure then it can be the major reason behind the fall of your brand.

Maintaining the brand value and strategy is a challenging journey, even when you reach great heights. Always take the right decision as single marketing blunder can destroy your brand completely.

In this age of rapidly changing technology either you have to adapt the change with time or you fail. Those who refuse to improve become redundant and irrelevant to the industry one day.

This case study talks about how fairly large marketing mistakes of big brands leaded to their devastation. If we come to seek examples there are many, yet here we have picked up 3 known names, Kingfisher, Kodak and Nokia, whose stories are mere enough to let you know the failure reasons.

1) The Rise, Dominance and Fall of Kingfisher

About Kingfisher

dsim image

In 2003, Kingfisher Airlines Limited was founded by Vijay Malllya as a premium and world-class airline group. The airline was based in Bangalore India and had more than 400 flights per day (Domestic & International). It used to be the most admired name in Asia-Pacific region.

The Rise of Kingfisher Airlines

On its peak time, it was the 2nd largest airline, in terms of carrying the number of passengers. The quality and comfortable service attracted many passengers in the initial years. And, then the Kingfisher acquired Air Deccan in 2007.

In just 3 years after touching the skies, the first international Bengaluru-London flight in 2008 was launched.

Marketing Strategy

They promoted the brand through all media channels like Radio, Television, Print, Multiplexes, Malls and in their In-flight magazines too.

  • In just 2 years, the airlines achieved the aviation market share of 10%.
  • During 2007, they had the most aggressive expansion plans of all Indian carriers.
  • In June 2007, their influence in the market was increased with the acquisition of 26% shareholding of Air Deccan Airlines.
  • During February 2009, more than 900,000 passengers flew with Kingfisher giving it the highest marketing share in India.

How Brand turned into Non-Performing Asset?

  • By the end of the March 2008, company was under the debt of INR 934 cr and net losses continued to widen in the following financial year.
  • Acquisition of Air Deccan marked the end of Kingfisher Airlines. By the year 2009-10, airlines accumulated the debt of over INR 7,000 cr as the losses continued to pile up. 2010 was the year when it turned into a non-performing asset for banks.
  • In 2012, the airlines operations were shut down as the DGCA suspended its flying license.

What Went Wrong?

  • Lack of Delegation.
  • Low-cost airline aviation airline, Air Deccan was treated as a step-child.
  • Unnecessary Burning of Fuel.

dsim image

The major reason that the brand was grounded was that it wasn’t just into one business and trying hands on more than one business. The founder was taking care of different businesses personally without appointing proper CEOs and couldn’t succeed in doing so. And, it’s pretty obvious that if two brands serve almost the same service, then people would rather prefer the cheaper one.

2) How Kodak couldn’t evolve with time and failed?

About Kodak

dsim image

The American technology company, Kodak, was built on the culture of innovation and change in 1888. The company was invented and marketed by George Eastmen who was a former bank clerk from New York. At that time, it used to be a simple box camera, loaded with 100-exposure roll of film.

Kodak held a dominant position in photographic film in its time. Its tagline “Kodak Moments” was so famous that it was used for promoting events.

Marketing Strategy of Kodak

The real genius of founder Eastman lied in his marketing strategy. He launched an advertising campaign which featured children and women operating the camera with a slogan, “You press the button, we do the rest.”

  • In 1935, produced the first mass-market color film in 16 and 8mm.
  • Kodak owned the film market with 90% market share in 1970s.
  • Created the first digital camera in 1975.

How Kodak Failed?

The first digital camera was designed by a Kodak engineer, Steve Sasson in 1975. It was a filmless photography at that time so they didn’t want to threaten their film business so didn’t do the marketing of the Digital camera. Whereas, other digital companies like Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm took the full advantage of the situation.

Kodak missed the opportunities in the technology, they themselves invented.

  • Kodak couldn’t get on the nerve of the modern technology and remained in denial for long about digital photography while all the other brands adapted the change by introducing electronic cameras.
  • Even before the digital photography they were failing to keep up as its rivalry Fujifilm started doing a better job than them.
  1. In January 2012, the big name went bankrupt because of not making the smart move into the digital world fast enough.
  2. On February 9, 2012, Kodak announced that it will exit the digital image capture business.

dsim image

What Went Wrong?

The Kodak failed due its slowness in transition. The world moved ahead with digital cameras, SD cards and USB cables but the company remained stuck with films. They didn’t know how to respond in time and technology eventually killed the Kodak films.

3) How Nokia got acquired by Microsoft?

About Nokia

dsim image

Nokia Corporation was founded in 1865 in Finland. The company was formally known as Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT). The company name was changed to Nokia in 1871. They built the first international mobile phone in 1981 and this marked the beginning of the mobile era.

The Rise of Nokia, Connecting People

  • Nokia phone was used in 1991 for making the first GSM call.
  • In 1992, they launched Nokia 1101, the first GSM handset which became an instant hit.
  • In 1988, Nokia became the world leader in mobile phones.

Marketing Strategy

  • Nokia’s Marketing share grew to 74% in March 2006 from 61.5%in October 2005.
  • In the color phone category, market share jumped to 59.3% from 40.9%.

The Fall of Nokia

Nokia used to own a large portion of market of smartphone before the iPhone came out in market in 2007. Their refusal to change and learn new things lost their survival and this ultimately leaded to their demise.

It used to be the leader in its market whereas Samsung was nowhere to be seen. But, Samsung made the move at the right time and gained the success.

dsim image

What Went Wrong?

The pioneer brand failed to respond to the completely changed smartphones with full touchscreen and application based operating system. The years passed and they didn’t keep up with the expectation of people and the consumers shifted.

They remained their focus on the Symbian series. Until 2011, company didn’t make the leap of faith onto the Windows phone and due to their slow response they suffered such demise.

  • Nokia got acquired by Microsoft in 2013.

And as we conclude, we look forward to the statement made by Stephen Elop, Nokia’s CEO in his speech when Nokia got acquired by Microsoft that “we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”. And, as far as the parameters on which success is measured, he was right somewhere that they didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just that they were unable to adapt the change at the right time and so, lost.

The unwillingness to embrace the needed marketing change when required was probably the main cause that turned these brands down. One needs to think and act holistically for growing the brand with time otherwise, if you don’t change, you will definitely get removed from the competition.

Share Button
Advanced
Digital Marketing Training Program
for professionals & job seekers
Learn how to market a business online just like experts & agencies do it.
Learn from real practitioners not just trainers.

Watch DSIM Trainees Celebrating Last Day of Batch

Watch Demo

1 comment

Leave a comment:


A weekly webinar by the biggest names in digital marketingJoin for free
+ +