(1) BlackberryThe company that led the smartphone revolution is now a shadow of its former self and there’s one glaring factor why. Essentially, it believed it knew better about what consumers wanted in terms of smartphones. More importantly, it failed to adapt with the market and blew it when Verizon asked Blackberry to create a touchscreen to compete against the iPhone. It led Verizon to instead approach Google and Motorola. This reluctance to keep pace was further emphasised when former co-CEO Jim Balsillie quit the company?s board after it refused to focus on instant-messaging software, as well as when founder Mike Lazaridis opposed the launch of the touchscreen Z10 to rather work on keyboard devices ? the board didn?t listen and it proved fatal as the company turned away from a product that had always done well with corporate consumers. As a result, Blackberry failed to create a phone that fit growing demand for cheaper mobile devices with more apps and powerful operating systems ? and it took six years before the company found that out. During that time, Apple, as well as the manufacturers of Android phones, had listened and were reigning supreme over Blackberry. A famous quote from The Globe and Mail, made by an unnamed stakeholder of the company, maintained: ?The problem wasn?t that we stopped listening to customers. We believed we knew better what customers needed long term than they did.? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
(2) NetflixYou?re probably wondering what feat granted Netflix a spot on this list, after all, it?s a raging success. However, in 2011 it landed itself with a bad reputation because it didn?t take consumer feedback on board about splitting its DVD and streaming businesses. In an interview with the?New York Times, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he had assumed the plan to split the company had been presented to customer focus groups before it was made public???but wasn?t entirely sure.?Furthermore, he couldn?t recall what those focus groups had said. What CEO doesn’t remember how well his plan was received? Regardless of research and focus groups, if Netflix had actually been listening to the reactions of its customers, all it really had to do was review over?11,000 mostly negative comments?on the company?s initial blog post?or check Twitter and Facebook. The lesson for any business here is that in the digital era it’s never too hard to find out what your consumers think, and if the reaction isn’t positive and you still go ahead with your plans, then prepare to lose a few customers along the way. Just ask Netflix! It ended up losing a whopping 800,000 subscribers, its stock price fell to less than half its previous value and the company became one of the ten?most hated?companies in America of that time. Read on to discover the company that refused to jump on the digital bandwagon. By Shan? Schutte
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