Can the market space that you occupy be replicated by your customers? Could your customers do what you do cheaper, even if it wasn’t done as well?
Even now and again, it’s important to take a look at technologies and systems that are appearing in your commercial environment – as well in other commercial environments – to see whether your business value proposition still makes sense. No company is immune to discovering that their – once lucrative – offering can no longer find a market.
Founded by Dr. Edwin Land in 1937, Polaroid cameras and film seemed to be at just about every party or social gathering during the 1970s and early 1980s. While the film wasn’t cheap, people loved its immediacy: 60 seconds after taking a photograph it was there in front of your eyes.
However it wasn’t long before affordable, consumer-priced digital cameras came along, which ultimately sealed the fate of Polaroid instant photography . The company stopped making the film early last year, and filed its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just last month. In the end, Polaroid were too slow to react to the viability of their instant image product line with consumers. Rather than buy their cameras and film, their customers would rather do it themselves.
If your company occupies a space that could conceivably be embraced by your current customer base, then why should they continue to buy from you?
As a side note I see that there is something called The Impossible Project, looking to revive the production of Polaroid instant film. I have always had a soft spot for Polaroid film – it saved my career many a time back in my days as an advertising photographer. I wish the project the very best of luck.