Gen X women, once known for their jaded worldviews and slacker boyfriends, are now the most sought-after demographic in digital imaging retail. These thirty-something professional women and mothers (nicknamed “Jennifer” by PMA, the Photo Marketing Association, a couple years back) are statistically the Americans most likely to turn their digital images into either a print or a high-margin specialty item. The trick for retailers, according to Kodak’s Brad Kruchten, is to get them past “likely” to actually spending time at a kiosk or online ordering site.
“We need to give them an exciting way to memorialize their lives beyond a 4x6,” said Kruchten at PMA ‘07, which wrapped up yesterday. “We know there are 115 billion [world wide] valued and stored images on people’s computers right now...and 315 million more images each day. This market is full of potential.” Kodak and hundreds of other vendors were showing Jennifer-oriented products like Andy Warhol-sytle posters, collage prints and diaper bags bearing baby’s image.
Retailers at PMA gathered in sessions to brainstorm about ways to make Gen X customers more comfortable. Beyond the “photo lounge” model, they talked about even more experiential retail environments like a “photo spa” which will either lure women with specialty coffees and cool music as they create photo books or provide special services like delivering prints to the car so that mothers don’t have to pull their kids out of car seats to pick up prints. Camera store owner Jessica Sarber put it this way: “It’s time to make a quantum shift in this industry in terms of how we do business.”