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Iconic Companies that Reinvented Themselves to Success

Hundreds of thousands of businesses have come and gone over the years. Many more will continue to come and go. You’ve seen long-term businesses out of Europe such as IKEA and Aldi spread across to Australia and the USA, and you’ve seen digital trendsetters like Facebook grow and spread its influence.

But most businesses won’t appear in any history books. These are companies that just don’t make it. You’ve heard it before, right?

  • AWFUL Company Launch
  • LITTLE TO NO Product Sales
  • BAD Customer Reviews

I’m not going to list all the failed companies in the world. It would certainly be a long list, and reading about companies going bankrupt would be a pretty grim topic. Instead, we are going to focus on the companies that really dug deep and made it through a rough period and turned out better than ever.

The articles on this list are all household names now, but many people are unaware of their histories. A good number of them had it bad, started out differently or had been mediocre and have since managed to turn it around. Hopefully, you can learn from these companies, whether you’re an owner, a business manager, or an entrepreneur in the works.

Samsung – Reinvention is a Given, Not a Chore

If there is something to learn from a company like Samsung, it’s that reinvention is more like renovation – you need it from time to time. If you don’t, you can get stale and become irrelevant.
If you keep committed to it without success, you kill your mark.

The many fans who know about Samsung know it for its smartphones or gadgets, something Koreans are very proud of. And, although that is often the case of its customers in the tech areas, Samsung as a company has spread much further than just technology.

One only need look at its founder, Lee Byung-Chul, who made the business in 1938, at the cusp of a great World War. What was Samsung back then? It was but a company that looked like no more than a grocer offering basic products such as dried fish, vegetables and noodles. Then, the war came and the company had to reinvent itself. It was now a wooden mill in order to refine sugar.

Apart from gadgets and tech, Samsung today is a mega establishment with a multitude of services offered including retail, textiles, insurance, industrial construction, entertainment. Samsung, a company that doesn’t want to put all their eggs in one basket is now producing one-fifth of the gross export list in Korea.

Netflix – The Rewards Of A Different Platform

Imagine it’s 1998, two years before the dawn of the new millennium. Michael Jackson was still alive and people still rented out CDs and DVDs. Also, when people said, “chill”, they usually meant something was cold or you were just hanging out.

Imagine that it’s 2018 and Netflix seems like the next big new thing. Not just a new thing, but a successful new thing with around 5 million subscribers or more. But, Netflix in 1998 was just a DVD rental store and sent rentals in the mail.

What they made back then though was something their customers enjoyed. A subscription for lower costs of DVD rental deliveries to your doorstep and far less predatory fees than that of big boy Blockbuster.

They were getting “I never knew I wanted this” from fans long before other modern services existed.

Years after, they saw the times and they put their chips on the table and gambled to a new platform:
Online streaming. They understood that viewers were viewers and people loved to watch a bunch of films or binge a series on the couch instantly.

With the new streams, viewers could, but they also took something from video games in the new millennium Original, exclusive content. Marvel’s Daredevil exclusive to the Netflix brand was one of the big exclusive shows that got people to try the service and they were hooked.

Today, even your grandmother knows of Netflix and probably uses it. A new platform for your business isn’t always a bad thing. Perhaps keeping with the times and technology couldn give you what Netflix got: 130 million customers, or more!

What do you think?

Written by James Durkin

B.A Business (Marketing Major) @ MIT Australia 2014-2016
Based in Melbourne/Budapest
Keen traveler
Avid gamer
Sports nut
Social butterfly

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