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Blaming the Brand at Kodak

Leave it to marketers to blame the brand for Kodak’s failure, and not the product.

A very interesting article by Al Ries regarding the fall of Kodak. Instead of pointing out the fails and missteps the company has seen over the years that have brought them to bankruptcy, Ries contends that Kodak lost it all by not re-branding their digital products, to separate themselves from their film heritage.

Also interesting are some of the comments already rolling in. I tend to agree with commenter #1, metro xing, who in remarking about Kodak’s products, “Kodak had branded themselves to the industry as high end and to consumers as low end.” When I think of Kodak, I think of the best film in the industry, but cheap cameras, film and digital.

The next commenter, Tim Lundberg of London states he saw this coming years ago unless they “rebrand, diversify considerably or extrapolate their brand into other markets.” That rolls into the hindsight-is-20/20-category, but he finishes with an ominous thought of who will be the next giant to fall.

“A great case in point is Woolworth’s in the UK, a huge brand name that became a dinosaur over night and then extinct in the blink of an eye. We may even be having this conversation about Apple, or Intel or someone one day.”