As some of you may know, I had to take an unexpected trip last week to Phoenix. So there I am, stuck at O’Hare Airport for an hour and a half, and I notice one of those zippy little carts that whizzes people around the terminals. Only this one isn’t moving. And it’s surrounded by all these people. And they’re taking pictures. Turns out the passenger in the zippy little cart is Muhammed Ali.
Now I’m not a fan of boxing, but hey, this was a serious celebrity sighting and I know my uncle is a big Ali fan. So I dug out my digital camera and grabbed a pic. (Sorry I can’t post it today – it’s not downloaded yet – maybe tomorrow.)
That’s a long way around to start talking about digital cameras. See, women spent about $55 billion on electronics gear in 2003 (men spent about $41 billion) and are involved in almost 90 percent of all electronics purchase decisions. Nearly 30 percent of all households owned a digital camera in 2003, and guess who’s snapping the pictures? Women.
In last week’s Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com), in a front page story titled “Kodak Sharpens Digital Focus On It’s Best Customers: Women,” we got a look inside how Kodak has turned the tide on its freefall by turning it’s attention where it makes the most sense. When filmed ruled the world, women took about two-thirds of all pictures and ordered the most prints. But with the advent of digital photography, men emerged as primary users – and many images ended up like my Ali picture, stuck on a computer.
But women want prints that we can send to our friends. Prints that we can post on the fridge. Prints that we’re wiling to run into a burning house to retrieve. Kodak (www.kodak.com) has long understood the emotional power of pictures – remember the Kodak moments campaign? – and took a smart tack. Women, the company discovered, have the skills to download and print photos from their computers, but didn’t want to mess with all the wires. So Kodak developed a docking station the prints lab-quality photos straight from the camera.
And guess what happened? Kodak’s now the leading provider of digital images. They’re selling cameras. They’re selling stand-alone printers. They’re online, in drugstores and of course, right there at home with the printers. To borrow a phrase from another popular advertising campaign, Kodak is everywhere women want to be. Smart.
Kodak’s CEO, Daniel Carp nailed it when he said, “Throughout history, women have been the keepers of family memories.”
Now that’s a great consumer insight to base your strategy and creative executions on. What would happen if you turned your attention to providing superior products and services to your best customers? Do you know who they are? Do you know what they want?
Now that would be an interesting picture to develop.
PS: I'll try to post the Ali photo tomorrow...