Tales of misfortunate companies that have met their demise through the rise of predatory rivals are now a dime a dozen. As technology advances, a sheer refusal to innovate has seen much-loved companies and industries struggle to stay afloat. Where did it go wrong?
- Netflix didn’t sink Blockbuster. Unfavourable late fees did. This was the scourge of Blockbuster: return a movie, go to rent another, and find out that you owe $20 in late fees. This was how it made most of its revenue. Blockbuster’s business model required a conflict of interest with customers- so customers switched to Netflix as soon as it became available, without remorse.
- Uber didn’t kill your local taxi firm– unreliability did. Riders are now able to hail a ride online instantly, with live tracking and accurate time frames. Convenience and time-saving aspects have streamlined ride services with the desires of customers at heart.
- Airbnb isn’t taking over the hospitality industry– new customer experiences and pricing options are. Customers are demanding authentic lodging experiences- in locals real homes- at affordable prices.
“Airbnb Experiences immerse travellers in local communities, offering one-of-a-kind, handcrafted activities, led by local experts.”By Airbnb
If these examples teach marketers anything, it’s that not being customer-centric or lacking innovation of experience can be fatal. Marketers need to invest and evolve alongside technology as demand-based power rises. In short: optimise your customer experience, before competitors get there first.
Can you think of any other examples where refusal to innovate has been fatal?