Kodak bankruptcy: when digital technology overtakes brilliant marketing

It was just a few years ago that you dropped off your Kodak film roll at Walmart or numerous Kodak processors and they would have prints ready for you with the negatives. With the Kodak bankruptcy news one is not entirely sure whether Walmart photo centers offer film processing at all today! The website does allow you to upload digital photos and get prints. A pioneer in photography  with brilliant marketing  Kodak went on clinging to the brick business like kiosks for self service enlargements, 800 film speed disposable cameras and a range of good digital cameras  that proved to be too little and too late as  Kodak's whole business model depended on film.  Incidentally, those in the digital camera market are in serious trouble – from cell phone cameras. Just check out the great quality photos you get from cell phones today.

And this after generations of Kodak marketers did a brilliant job of marketing that included teaching photography to the consumer of the time. Watch the commercial alongside. Even professional photographers are feeling sad today.

Here is one company that had brilliant marketing but lost touch with the market and was trying to reverse the inexorable digital technology trend.  You really can't explain the self service Kodak kiosks because you never saw people lining up for self service  for average photos from a machine when you could get awesome inexpensive prints from the  photo center so long as you were willing to bring your photos on a flash drive or better still upload them through your camera's digital memory. Or if you really wanted to "Do-it Yourself"  you could take prints from your personal printer. Infact, today total photos clicked and digitally stored or shared in social media are probably far in excess of what is printed at home or from a photo center.

And the Kodak problem persists with organizations in every industry- that  large segments of your market will switch to at least part digital solutions is something most folks (in any former  "bricks" business ) are not able to embrace.  And without embracing change – it's hard to adapt and compete.