PMA: It’s All About Women
“The fundamental problem in the industry today is that people are shooting, valuing and storing images, over 315 million a day, but they are keeping them on their computer,” said Brad Kruchten, Kodak’s general manager of retail printing solution. “We need to give them an exciting way to memorialize their lives, beyond 4x6 prints.” Kodak’s research showed that the profit margin on one photobook, typically a bound collection of glossy 8x10’s, is equivalent to 400 4x6 prints, Kruchten said.
While retailers used to focus on getting “Jennifer” to make prints, now the strategy is to get her to become a storyteller. Kodak was offering “story mugs” as an example of this idea. Instead of marketing one mug plastered with a family vacation still, they were showing a set of mugs that represented the story of the whole vacation. One showed the day on the canoe, another a candid by the fire, and individual family members could all have their own mug with their favorite memory.
Creating all these high-margin specialty products means retailers have to make some adjustments in the lab. HP, Kodak, Lucidium, Mitsubishi and others, including a new partnership between Fuji and Xerox, offered new printing solutions. Stand-alone turnkey kiosks were prevalent, enabling a retailer to set up a branded satellite store in a mall or hotel lobby. Relatively new companies like Cameo Style have popped up with kiosk hardware/software solutions to coexist with a retailer’s printing assets, allowing customers to quickly create photo greeting cards or calendars or giant “collage prints” on a showfloor touch-screen. The store staff can then swiftly turn those digital orders into products that walk out the door that day, preferably bundled with profitable accessories like frames and mats.