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Bad, Bad Brands (as in very, very good) Podcast and Transcript

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Marketing Insights Podcast

February 15, 2023


Shanita Akintonde:

Welcome to a very special edition of My Marketing Insights podcast series. (singing).

Welcome to a very special edition of My Marketing Insights podcast, Bad, Bad Brands. This is Shanita Akintonde, professor, author, career coach, and marketing shero. And today, we're going to dive deep into the world of struggling brands. We often hear about brand successes, but what about those brands that seem to be on the decline. Those bad, bad... Shh. What you say? Brands. Well, today we're going to explore how these bad, bad brands can be very good, or at least turned into good brands, that brand managers keep going and going and going until they are gone in a good way. Before we get into their success stories, however, let's briefly revisit the product lifecycle. You've heard me talk about this before, marketing maestros, but here we go for a rewind.

There are four stages in a product's lifecycle. Say it with me. Introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. Today, we're focusing on the decline stage and how some brands defy the odds and come back stronger than ever. I'm going to give you three such brands. I'm going to call them bad brands, and here we go. Bad brand number one, Kodak, a snapshot of resilience.

My first example comes from the world of photography, Kodak. Once an industry giant, Kodak faced a sharp decline. In other words, the shutters were closed. With the rise of digital photography, the company had to reinvent itself by embracing digital technology and shifting its focus. Get it? Shift its focus. They explored new avenues like commercial printing and imaging technology. Today, however, Kodak is a transformed brand that continues to innovate. And if you don't believe me, start to pay attention to the number of people that are pulling out those old Kodak disposable cameras when you go to your next event. Hit me up on Twitter or LinkedIn or Instagram and let me know. Actually, do me one better. Post your pick that you took with your Kodak camera.

Bad brand number two, Nokia, reconnecting with innovation. Another brand that experienced a remarkable turnaround is Nokia. Known for its iconic mobile phones, Nokia struggled when smartphones took over the market. However, they didn't give up. Nokia refocused on research and development, they doll into emerging technologies like FG... Oh Lord, 5G. I guess I said F, because the number five starts with F. Their commitment to innovation has put them on the map in the telecommunications industry.

And last but not least, rounding out the group is bad brand number three, Nintendo. Gaming to greatness. Our third example is Nintendo, a gaming company that faced tough competition from rivals like Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo, however, responded by creating unique gaming experiences like the Nintendo Switch, which bridged the gap between console and handheld gaming. Their innovative approach revitalized their brand, and they are now a major player in the gaming industry once again.

All of these stories provide us, marketing maestros, with lessons for struggling brands. And here are the main takeaways that I will give you in closing out this podcast. Number one, embrace change. If something ain't working, change it. Adapt yourself, whether it be to new technologies, marketing trends, or both. In other words, stay relevant.

Number two, differentiate. Dare to be different. Find ways to stand out in the crowded marketplace. Create unique and valuable experiences for your customers. And number three, one of my favorites, challenge the norm. Don't be afraid to take the unconventional path, marketing maestros. Sometimes, define the norms is what makes the difference and different is better, usually, and in this case, always. It can lead to incredible success. In conclusion, brand building is filled with challenges, but these stories that I've told you today, marketing maestros ,prove that bad, bad brands are very, very good. Doubt doesn't always beat out and struggling brands can be resuscitated with creativity, dedication, and perseverance. Just keep swimming. Remember that podcast? If you haven't heard it, go back and take a listen. You might find yourselves on a path to a remarkable comeback after a setback.

Thank you for joining me on another special edition of My Marketing Insights podcast. This one, Bad, Bad Brands. Until next time, remember, your brand's best days may be just around the corner. Bye-bye.

If you enjoy listening to these podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Stitcher, iTunes, or Google Play, and like them wherever you hear them. Connect with me on LinkedIn at Professor Shanita Akintonde, or follow me on Twitter at _Shanitaspeaks.

About the Author

Marketing Maven Shanita Akintonde personifies passion and purpose. With over two decades of strategically-honed leadership experience as a professor and marketing executive, Shanita has transitioned over 10,000 students from her classroom to the boardroom. She is an author, newspaper columnist, and certified professional speaker who serves as President of ShanitaSpeaks, LLC, a company that energizes clients to predict marketing trends, identify niche audiences, and effectively communicate measurable outcomes, all of which she spotlights as host of the #1-ranked Marketing Insights podcast series. Learn more about Shanita at:

Profile Photo of Shanita Baraka Akintonde