Typical Case Studies of Companies Suffering from Marketing Myopia

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The number of case studies of companies suffering from marketing myopia has been increasing during the last decades, despite the fact that there is a considerable amount of scientific background and research on this subject. In this article you can find a

The concept of marketing myopia has remained a favorite subject of academic discussion and analysis, from the time that Theodore Levitt publishes his famous paper on Harvard Business Review in 1960, untill nowadays. A great number of companies proved Levitt right in his approach, and they served as typical examples of marketing myopia cases. 

1. Electrolux Washing Machines

For those of you who think that environmental sustainability and ecology can motivate consumers to buy products, in the expense of other traditional marketing factors such as cost, service and convenience of use, you might want to change your mind after studying the case of Electrolux Washing Machines. Instead of consumers turning convenience-blind, Electrolux itself acquired a myopic, failing approach. 

2. Fairtrade Coffee

This is a characteristic case of marketing myopia, although this time it was the myopic perception of the suppliers’ interests, which initiated marketing failure. 

3. Green buildings construction

With the current need for wiser use of energy resources and the increasing dependence of consumers on the price fluctuations of fossil fuels, as well the subsequent effects on their incomes, it would only be natural for them to create a high level of demand for energy-efficient and energy-saving products. However, once more, consumers showed that they did not suffer from myopia, in the same way that green buildings construction companies did, and they did not base their purchasing decisions simply on environmental causes.

4. Philips Earthlight light bulb

This was Philips’ attempt, back in 1994, to lure consumers into buying a more energy-efficient bulb. The initial launch of the product was proved to be myopic, since it failed to take into consideration certain technical factors and the company did not market properly the product’s cost and money saving benefits to the consumers. In the end, a redesign of the bulb and stronger marketing promotion brought the required results. 

5. Whirlpool Energy Wise refrigerator

Despite state recognition and award funding, this energy-saving refrigerator did not meet the consumers’ money saving criteria, and they were not prepared to pay a difference in the price of the product, just for the sake of increased environmental awareness. This was again another case of wrong, myopic estimation of the real, existing needs of the market.

 6. Eastman Kodak

The former pioneer in research and development projects did not manage to follow the flow of the stream of technological innovation, due to its unwillingness to discard obsolete products and practices and move on to the next generation of production and marketing techniques in the film and photography industry. This special form of marketing myopia was defined by a reluctance or inability to assess correctly the course of events in the specific industry and unwillingness to observe competitors’ movements, as well as monitor broader developments in the economy and the society. 

7. Railroads

Railroads have fallen behind because of reduced customer service for passenger service and customer service but also because trucks continue to carry the load plus pipeline still being built. Railroads still hold a fantasy of traveling by rail through the United States, but they failed due to a limited marketing view.

What Causes Marketing Myopia

Marketing myopia doesn’t happen overnight, but it seems like it does. The causes of marketing myopia include the following:

  • A company that predicts with inaccurate and or without conducting proper research.
  • When a company focuses more on selling than building a solid relationship with their customers. This has become all too common in recent years.
  • Mass production of their product without knowing the actual demand.
  • Refusal to change with the dynamic customer and consumer environment.
  • Only giving importance to just one aspect of the marketing aspects without focusing on what their customers and consumers actually want.

Self Deception

Companies can end up in a mind set that becomes self deception when they have certain goals and not an actual vision of the future. This can occur when a company believes their growth will occur just because of population growth, a belief that there is no competitive alternative or substitute for their company’s products(s), supply creates its own demand, which causes an overproduction of product, and finally an overestimation of their products qualities without conducting scientific research.


There are numerous examples coming up in the future of company and marketing myopia. Nokia lost to Android and Apple, dry cleaners could lose out to the new fiber materials, Yahoo lost out to Google, and Hollywood seems to be losing out to online streaming. Cable companies also might be losing out to services like Hulu, Google, and Amazon streaming services.

If companies do not keep on their toes, and stay relevant and competitive, they could become the next victim to marketing myopia.


-Sustainability marketing myopia: Case studies

-Avoiding Green Marketing Myopia

-What went wrond at Eastman Kodak

-What is marketing myopia?


Virginia Grant
Posted on Jan 17, 2012
New Energy
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Guimo Pantuhan
Posted on Jan 17, 2012
New Energy
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Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman
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Phoenix Montoya
Posted on Jan 16, 2012