Kodak Alaris, Kodak Professional and PhotoPlus Expo 2013

Tomorrow kicks off the annual PhotoPlus Expo and Conference in New York. While our team works on getting the booth up and running, I wanted to tell you a little bit about what you’ll see from Kodak Alaris in the coming days.

First, you’ll see our new name – Kodak Alaris. We’re excited to show how our new company preserves the heritage and legacy of the KODAK brand, while quickly addressing needs and changes of the professional market.

Sarah Vaughan PPE 2013 Tanja Lippert PPE 2013

As always, we’ll have our full portfolio of KODAK PROFESSIONAL Media and KODAK PROFESSIONAL Film on hand. You’ll see those products brought to life by through the photography of Jeff Yeats, Tanja Lippert, Sarah Vaughan and Martin Grahame-Dunn in our booth, printed on our KODAK PROFESSIONAL ENDURA Premier Paper.

MGD PPE 2013 Jeff Yeats PPE 2013

In addition to showcasing his photography in our booth, Grahame-Dunn will also present two sessions at PhotoPlus, entitled  “Collections: Elevate your expertise; Control your future!” on Thursday 11:15-12:00 and Friday 2:15-3:00 in the PhotoPlus Show Floor Theater.

Grahame-Dunn’s presentation illustrates the value of our new solution for photographers and professional labs, called KODAK PROFESSIONAL Collections and Creations Software. The solution is designed to help both professional labs and photographers deliver products in a way that more directly aligns with how consumers purchase today. Consumers crave immediacy. Let’s meet that craving.

How do we meet that craving? We provide them the soft-copy. That’s right. A company that creates some of the highest quality media available for photographic printing says “give consumers the digital file.” As an industry, we need to meet today’s consumers on their terms.

But note, we don’t say “give them the soft-copy for free,” which is where the nuance lies. We believe that any photographer who simply gives away the digital content leaves money on the table. At the same time, we believe any photographer who doesn’t offer digital content missed opportunities as well. Our message is to offer today’s consumer a Collection of photo products that include soft-copy offerings in conjunction with prints, albums, books, keepsakes and more to commemorate life’s treasured moments. Once you’ve provided the option for the soft copy and have captured the consumers’ interest, you then show them just how much more they can do with the professional content to preserve their memories for a lifetime.

With the Collections and Creations Software, products are organized into thoughtfully created sets that follow a logical flow to help photographers guide their clients through the story-telling process, from start to finish.  Photographers will be able to show how they take the professional content and deliver an experience that creates an emotional connection among the consumers, their images and their story.

This in turn, enables the consumers to:

•Promote their memories by sharing with family and friends anytime, anywhere

•Produce their memories in story form

•Preserve their memories for a lifetime

The goal of the solution is enabling photographers to function as consultants, artists and trusted advisors for their clients, rather than providers of a commodity. Because we believe that’s what photographers, in conjunction with their lab partners, are. They are consultants who have made the investment, in the form of equipment, time and energy to develop a craft that includes a vision and a skill to make beautiful photographs that tell a story that preserves memories for a lifetime.

We hope you’ll come by the booth in New York to learn more. We’ll be at booth #855 in Javits Conventions Center Thursday – Saturday.

Curation and Expression in the Connected World

Last week, Amazon rolled out a new service, called “Amazon Collections,” which lets consumers create a visual display of products they like, pulled from Amazon’s catalog of goods. Or as David Seifert wrote last week in The Verge, “Amazon Collections copies Pinterest’s layout to display your wish list.”

Pinterest, launched in early 2010, had more than 70 million users worldwide at the end of July 2013*, and has the potential to reshape the way in which commerce happens, as evidence by Amazon’s new service. In his article in Fast Company “Can Ben Silbermann Turn Pinterest Into The World’s Greatest Shopfront?” Max Chafkin writes “To create a pinboard is to say to the world, Here are the beautiful things that make me who I am–or who I want to be.”

So how do these two services relate to our professional lab customers? On Pinterest and through Amazon Collections, disparate individual products are curated to create a social visual representation (and purchases) that some argue is greater than its individual parts. We began thinking about this consumer behavior years ago and this past June, introduced KODAK PROFESSIONAL Collections and Creations software, to allow our professional lab customers to engage in this curation and present professional photographic output that mirrors this social, visual expression.

KPRO_C&CS_H

Collections represent the manifestation of what in the past we’ve described as our Prints, Pages and Screens strategy into a tangible product and an actionable plan for the professional market.  We defined a Collection as a thematic compilation of photo products, such as DVDs, enhanced stills, prints, albums/books, photo gifts, and more to commemorate life’s treasured moments.  This expert curation enables consumers to:

  • Promote their memories and stories by sharing with family and friends anytime, anywhere. (digital output)
  • Produce their memories in story form. (photo books, albums and keepsakes)
  • Preserve their milestone memories for a lifetime. (heirloom prints)

The concept of Promote, Produce, and Preserve helps define the meaning of photographic-oriented Collections.  And the order of these three benefits is crucial to successful sales: Promote memories first, then fast follow to produce them in story form, and complete the collection by preserving them in heirloom products.

Photographers are encouraged to lead with socialization products; digital products that meet consumers’ primary need to showcase their important life moments in their socially connected world. Consumers’ today expect to use their professional images in the same manner they do their own images – to share them anytime, anywhere.  Once the photographer has achieved this objective, they can then move on to produce the memories in story form in albums, books, keepsakes, and more and complete the collection by preserving the memories for a lifetime in heirloom prints.

KODAK PROFESSIONAL Collections and Creations presents professional output, not as individual disparate products, but as a curated, visual representation of important life moments that enable consumers to share, tell, and preserve their milestone events.

*Semiocast, July 2013, “Pinterest has 70 million users
More than 70% are in the U.S.”

Kodak DP2 and Animoto Video Slideshow

Just a few weeks ago, more than 160 professional lab owners, general managers, and technical staff gathered in Rochester for our annual Kodak Pro Lab Workshop, which includes a blend of business strategy and technical sessions. As has become an annual tradition at the workshop, along with (sometimes bad) golf and Elvis sightings, we introduced the latest version of our market leading workflow software for professional photographic labs, KODAK Professional Digital Print Production Software (DP2), version 16.

While the full set of enhancements can be seen here, I wanted to spend some time on the Animoto Video Slideshow features for pro labs and photographers.  With DP2 v16, we have added two significant enhancements to the Animoto Video Slideshow feature.  Both of these enhancements are designed to create more selling opportunities for photographers and labs.

So what’s the value of the professional lab in offering these services, when photographers can work directly with Animoto on their own? It’s the combined benefit not of just what pro labs can help photographers do, but also how they do it.

In previous posts, we’ve talked about how soft-copy can drive hard-copy purchases. In this case, Animoto videos, showing professional content choreographed to impactful music, simply grab the consumer and make an emotional connection. Imagine a new bride and groom first seeing their wedding photos not as static proofs, but instead, as a series of images, set to beautiful music that conveys a story – their story. First come tears. Then comes the purchase – one that’s less transactional and more experiential.  Pro labs can encourage photographers getting proofs to consider presenting them in this story-telling format.

With Animoto videos, pro labs can help photographers generate business as well. Word-of-mouth marketing remains one of the more impactful ways of generating business among professional photographers. When photographing someone, whether it’s a wedding, a family portrait or school photography, there’s an inherent trust placed in the photographer. Pro labs can help create that word-of-mouth referral by working with their photographers to create a video, a digital album of sorts, to send to their clients as a “thank-you” following a photo session. Embed the name of the photographer, logo and contact information within the video, which at some point, will show up on the happy client’s social networking site. Once the video is posted, the client has essentially “endorsed” the photographer’s services to their friends and family.

What pro labs help photographers create provides an even greater return when how labs create Animoto videos enters the equation. Sure, with infinite time, professional photographers can create these videos on their own. But who has infinite time? By using a pro lab, the photographers free themselves up to spend more time shooting (and generating business) and less time behind the computer.

One Upload: To create Animoto videos, photographers need to upload images. By creating the videos through a pro lab, to whom they’re already uploading the images, photographers simply do one upload, rather than two.  It also frees the photographer from editing and sequencing the photos, all of which take valuable time – time that the photographer could use to acquire more clients.

Turnkey Service: The pro lab will make the video format ready for client delivery – both in how the video is presented (format, labeling, cases), as well as a guarantee that the images in the video are color corrected and match all the printed output. The photographers simply deliver the video to their clients when it’s ready. Again, less time behind the computer, more time out shooting.

Pay As You Grow: Pro labs offering Animoto services through DP2 v16 can create a risk-free business model for photographers, which in turn, will create more interest and use of the service.  Photographers only pay for videos sold to clients, or make a modest investment in videos for marketing purposes. We’ve made this even easier by adding the capability for the photographer to share a preview of the video with up to 30 of their clients to help facilitate sales of videos to a broader audience.

This value proposition means the photographer saves time and money while still receiving the highest quality output, which in turn, will help them grow their business.  This is the same value proposition that pro labs have built their reputation and business on all these years: Quality – Convenience – and Value.