Big Isn’t Always Beautiful

2009 – Toyota became the biggest car manufacturer in the world surpassing General Motors.

2010 – Toyota recalls 8 million cars worldwide to fix problems with brakes, accelerators and steering.

In their quest to be the biggest car manufacturers, it seems Toyota (TMC) lost sight of quality and focused on quantity producing more but defective cars, consequently tarnishing their image for “Toyota’s Reliability”. It will take the TMC a while, huge resources and investment to re-gain their market position. Earlier, the GM was the biggest car manufacturer for years and became so bloated that they lost touch with their customers and lost their loyalty, got consumer perception for low quality, focused on push sales and short-term gains and could not stay profitable. Result – the US government had to intervene to rescue the GM from bankruptcy but not before major layoffs and closing of several plants.

Big is no more beautiful, though we grew up listening big is beautiful, be it Empire Estate Building,  Twin Towers, Sears Towers, Wal-Mart (2nd. in revenues on Fortune 500 list but way below in profits), super size servings at McDonald’s, population of China & India (with a significant number of people below poverty line), huge cars and gas guzzler SUVs. Time has changed, people and their expectations have changed, technology is continuously modifying the way we do business, and businesses need to adapt likewise.

Customers want personalized services, market segmentation, differentiation and targeting have become more important than ever before, people have many means to voice their concerns and views, and business models are changing to leverage technological advances for greater efficiencies. Today’s businesses need to be of the right size to stay close to their customers, be efficient and profitable. As Seth Godin said, Small is the new Big.

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About Fazal Siddiqi
Fazal Siddiqi Writes on current marketing, branding, communications, diversity and socio-economic opportunities & challenges. He lives in Canada and works for OPAL Marketing Group.

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