Kodak was founded in 1889 by an American innovator and entrepreneur George Eastman, the company;s principles were to produce a low cost camera that would be distributed globally around the world, putting the customers expectations first and creating a brand awareness through its extensive advertising. Eastman felt that ‘fulfilling customers needs is the only road to corporate success’. Initially Kodak was a huge success that grew and by 1976 Kodak held 90% of film sales and 85% of camera sales in the U.S. Eastman thought that a camera should be simple and easy to use, anyone and everyone should be able to capture the memories they create for the future. One of the strongest principles of Kodak was that it remained loyal to capturing all of life’s valuable and fondest memories in detail, ensuring you live life to your full potential. Eastman was committed to bringing photography into the hands of everyone by ensuring Kodak creates a premium, high quality product at the lowest possible price.
Kodak’s biggest mistake was to not move with the times and keep up with its main competitor, Fuji Film. Kodak was unconvinced of the impact of technology on humanity as it is more interested in the emotional benefits, using these emotions to connect with the audience, Kodak failed to realise that the consumer demander leading technology and the instant gratification that went along with digital photography. Kodak was soon left behind as other manufacturers harnessed new technologies and launched new products. Their biggest rival Fuji Film became stronger and more popular with Kodak’s consumers that they started taking market share from Kodak, Fuji Film went from a 10% share to a 17% share in 1997.
Kodak needs to bring itself back into the marketplace, it can do this through innovative products that use current technology whilst combining the heritage in the rebranding. Kodak need to capitalise on the fact that they have been the most important film manufacturer in photographic history for more than 100 years and get back to their original philosophy to help everyone appreciate the little things in life, it thrives on positivity, creativity and simplicity.