Five ways to future-fail at business

Five ways to future-fail at business

We’re obviously happy as more New Zealand companies are making the pallet wrapping change to Nanowrap and Futurewrap. Those on the vanguard are reaping the benefits. However, there is still somewhat of a reluctance from some companies to even test these plastic-saving products.


Given the rate of technological change and product development in the modern business world, it is understandable that some may drag their feet. Nobody wants to waste time with pie in the sky products that don’t deliver. However so too can valuable innovation be squandered by those who take their eyes off the ball.

That’s why we’re always happy to test out our new products on-site. When it comes to making gains for our clients our attitude is simple but effective: “if we can’t measure it, we won’t recommend it”

Here’s five times companies got burned by “sticking to how it’s always done”.


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5: Kodak loses focus on the big picture. The appeal of digital cameras was always going to increase as technology improved. What was surprising was how long camera giant Kodak simply stuck it’s head in the sand – even though one of their engineers actually invented the digital camera back in 1975! They worried that the tech would eat into their lucrative (at the time) film products. In the 70s the brand had an 85% market share in cameras. In 2012 the company filed for bankruptcy protection and it’s now a shell of what it used to be.

4: E.T phoned. M&Ms didn’t pick up. From pizza in Wayne’s World to couriers in Cast Away to cigarettes in Superman 2 (yes, really), product placement in blockbuster movies is now everywhere. It can be a double-edged sword – some placement is ridiculous and does more harm than good. However, when acclaimed director Steven Spielberg calls asking to use your product it’s probably a sure thing. However, the Mars candy company refused permission to use M&M’s in E.T.  So the 1982 film featured their competitors – and Reese’s Pieces received a reported 65% jump in profits after the movie came out.

ET Reeces

3: Toys broken, tears shed. Although not in New Zealand, Toys “R” Us was at one time a mega-brand internationally. However the company’s unwillingness to invest with e-commerce led their path along a slippery slope. The toy chain attempted an initial arrangement with Amazon back in 2000. However this ‘exclusive deal’ soon fell by the wayside as the shipping giant invited other toy retailers onto their platform. Despite eventually recognising the importance of online with a proposed $100 million investment in e-commerce, Toys “R” Us simply couldn’t gain traction again. In September 2017 the company filed for bankruptcy.

2: Bigger is not better. When the Hummer hit the civilian market in the 1990s it was seen as a game-changer in the U.S – a huge, expensive and durable car of military origins that could handle the modern-day warfare of driving to the mall and back.

However, as the world began to focus on the importance of environmental stewardship the ‘gas-guzzler’ became the most obvious symbol of excess. The most famous owner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, threw his weight behind electric vehicles and the brand effectively shut down in 2010. The market had spoken – environmentally unsustainable brands were no longer acceptable.

1: Video chain stung by late fees. Blockbuster certainly paid the cost when arriving late to the potential of online streaming. At the time the fledgling start-up pitched to the U.S video chain, Netflix was still in the DVD-by-mail operation. So the Blockbuster CEO thought the offer to sell Netflix for $50 million was a joke. He passed and Netflix subsequently pivoted their business model and became the behemoth it is today. The last corporate Blockbuster store in the United States closed in 2014.


Don’t get stuck in the past. Making a decision in pallet wrap choice today is a very good idea – it’s a way your company can save plastic and help fight climate change here and now. Sometimes the initial investment may seem unnecessary. But the long-term gains will make it more than worth the change.





Here’s five times companies got burned by “sticking to how it’s always done”.

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