(a)What was the critical catalyst that led Kodak to start taking the Japanese marketseriously? Kodak: The Changing StrategiesBy 2000, Kodak, the company thatpioneered the imaging industry byinventing easy-to-use cameras andphotographic film, was in deep crisis. Withthe advent of digital cameras in the mid1990s, Kodak found its sales declining asconsumers preferred the new cameras,which did not use films. The growingpopularity of digital cameras led to a slumpin film sales, which was a major revenuegenerator for Kodak. Additionally, the newtechnology attracted a lot of competitionfrom traditional as well as new players. Inorder to maintain its lead in the industry,Kodak decided to adopt the new technologyand reinvent itself from a camera and filmmanufacturer to a digital imaging company. The case discusses the evolution of thedigital camera market and the shrinkingfilm business. It also highlights the strategiesadopted by Kodak to embrace the newtechnology to sustain its leadershipposition. (b) From the evidence given in the case do you think Kodak’s charges of unfairtrading practices against Fuji are valid? Support your answer. On December 5, 1997 the US lost its first major trade dispute in the newly formedWorld Trade Organization(WTO). The high-profile case pitted photographic paper and film giantsKodak andFuji against one another along with their respectivegovernments, the US and Japan. Kodak claimed that Japan's photographic market &distribution structure, "deny[ed] [Kodak] fair and equitable market opportunities." 1
Essentially, Kodak was arguing that it could not penetrate theJapanese market beyond a certain level due to structural restraints, governmentintervention, and back-room policies that favored Fuji. 8
On the other hand, Fuji & theJapanese government contended that Kodak's poor showing in Japan was due todeficient marketing, management, and investment in the Japanese market. Fuji and theJapanese government refused to enter into negotiations with Kodak because they perceived Kodak's allegations as groundless.This refusal to even discuss Kodak's complaint prompted a May 1995 Kodak filingwith the US Trade Representative's office under Section 301, which allows the US touse unilateral action against unfair trading practices. This was viewed to be Kodak's best chance to pry open the Japanese market. To Kodak's jeopardy, the case wasturned over to the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body in June of 1996. On December 5,1997 the WTO ruled against Kodak and the US saying it had found no evidence that,"Japan rigged its domestic markets to favor Fuji Photo Film Co. over Kodak." 3
Q 2 ) Which company is truly Multinational ? Why?
A Truly Multinational Company
From the standpoint of the multinational marketer, the differences between nations overseas are great. In the past, these differences generally led a U.S. company to view its strategy in each country strictly as a local problem. However, in recent years the situation has been changing, and the experiences of a growing number of multinational companies suggest that there are real potential gains to consider in standardizing various elements of the marketing programs used in different areas. These gains range from substantial cost savings and more consistent dealings with customers to better planning, control,and exploitation of ideas with universal appeal. One of the most widely discussed developments of the past decade has been the emergenceof multinational
companies as important competitors in an ever-growing number of industries. As thetrade barriers in Western Europe and elsewhere have diminished, more and more companies have foundattractive opportunities for expansion in countries other than their traditional home markets. For some ofthese companies, operations abroad have become so extensive and so complex as to require significantchanges in organization and operating methods. The problems confronting management in a trulymultinational...