Kodak’s Plan to Help Retailers Build Their Businesses
“It’s a Kodak world,” stated Brad Kruchten, general manager, Kodak Retail Printing, at the company’s February 1 PMA press briefing. He was jokingly referring to a recent episode of Celebrity Apprentice in which Kiss lead singer Gene Simmons coined the phrase while attempting to sell Kodak printers to the public. However, judging from the company’s new solutions to help retailers take over the photo world, I mean, to improve their businesses, I’m guessing Kodak would like the tag line to stick.
According to Kruchten, the company wants to return to a time (started by George Eastman) when consumers pushed a button and retailers did the rest. Kodak wants to make photography easy and fun while at the same time, allowing consumers to tell their stories their way. “Consumers have too many choices, which causes too much confusion,” explained Kruchten. “But if they enjoy it, they’re going to do more of it. It’s as simple as that. And right now,” he lamented, “it’s still too difficult because of all the choices.”
Making the process simpler will require retailers to move away from what Kruchten calls “a transaction approach.” “In the past,” he noted, “the film processing activity was very transaction driven—consumers walked into the store, dropped [film] off, and came back and picked it up. It wasn’t an experience; it was a transaction. This is also not a price game. People will always be interested in price,” admitted Kruchten.