How Lack of Innovation can Kill a Brand- The Peugeot Vs Nokia Examples

    Growing up in the 1990’s in Nigeria, if your parents drive a Peugeot 504 or a 505, they were assumed to be wealthy. Peugeot was the favourite car for both individual and the Government of Nigeria and its various agencies. I remember when the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu gave one Peugeot car each to Eyimba of Aba when they won one of the local leagues cup, it became talk of the town. Peugeot was a dream car for every young man or woman at the time. Business for them was flourishing because Peugeot was a brand of choice. What Peugeot management failed to realise was the need to innovate to suite the needs of the new generation.
    When brands like Toyota, Mercedes Benz etc started reinventing themselves to suit the new lifestyle of the people, Peugeot failed to have foresight , they were relaxed because they felt that since they were the cars of choice, it would be difficult for Government and its agencies to relegate them to the background and go for other brands, they lied. What happens to conservative brands like Peugeot is the fact that they are overtaken by brands who re-innovate in line with trends. For example, when other brands were producing cars with automatic drive train, Peugeot sat in the old manual spot, they refused to add new effects, new designs and even engine capacities were at the same level.
    Therefore when brands like Mercedes, Toyota began to produce bulletproof cars  with nice interiors to position themselves as brands of choice. What Peugeot thought will never happen eventually happened. Nigerian Government abandoned Peugeot and they are  almost history in the country as at today .Although new models were latter produced in early 2000’s but it was already too late.
    The same thing happened to Nokia phones . In Nigeria, Nokia was a very popular brand because of it ruggedness and durability. They were very satisfied at that spot due to high demands by Nigerians . They became complacent. While other brands like Samsung started operating on Android, Nokia was still hooked in Java. Meanwhile everybody was moving to android because of the various apps and on the go internet and other benefits, Nokia was in the same spot like Peugeot did. Today, Samsung is competing with iPhone while Nokia is at the verge of extinction .
    The lesson for every brand is that nothing remains the same. With that in mind, you must constantly study trends and understand that improvement is what sustains a brand in a market that is flooded with competing brands . If you don’t constantly improve and infuse new ways of doing things, small brands that were not even qualified to compete with you during your prime will overtake you. You and your brand will become archaic and remain in the book of history.


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