Marketing 50

Marketing 50: Kodak EasyShare

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Eastman Kodak Co. may have been late in getting to the digital camera business, but its Kodak EasyShare system has vaulted the former film king to the No. 2 spot in U.S. digital camera sales in three years.

Led by Pierre Schaeffer, 41, VP-director of business strategy and marketing services, Kodak eschews a technology know-it-all approach in the booming digital camera space. Instead, Mr. Schaeffer and his team focus on Kodak's century-old brand strength as the company that consumers turn to for capturing memories in pictures. Its 2004 advertising, created by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, encapsulates its strategy with the tagline "Where are my pictures?"

"So many people told us that they really related to this catch phrase," says Mr. Schaeffer, who played an extensive role in developing the EasyShare system. "There has been a brainwashing in digital cameras that suggests you need to be a computer expert. We try to break that image ... `You press a button, we do the rest. We're the experts in photography, you don't have to be.' "

Kodak also takes a unique approach in its target audience with an exclusive focus on women, ranging from teens to grandmothers. Kodak's goal is to show them ease of use. It also uses monthly e-mail educational updates, mall presence at holiday time and booths at Nascar races, which have "all paid off big-time," he says.

That payoff means Kodak is gaining on Sony. In August, IDC said Kodak's market share jumped from 15.3% to 18.3% in the U.S. for first six months of 2004.

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