Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest Marketing Award Goes to Kodak Gallery

Kodak Gallery, the online photo storage sharing service that I have been using since 2005, then known as Ofoto, advised me this morning:

“To store photos at the Gallery, members with photo storage of more than 2 gigabytes (GB) must make annual minimum purchases totaling at least $19.99.** Failure to meet this requirement may result in your photos being deleted from the Gallery.” Here’s the link to the html view of the email
.

I am one of Kodak Gallery’s heaviest users – I resisted opening a Flickr account or using Google Picasa because I was entrenched – I have been a digital billboard for this service every time I send pictures to my friends and family. That list kept growing, and I have helped not one of my buddies join the service – because it is great. Was.

So for being one of their best customers, Kodak decides to penalize me. Why? Because they have to monetize their Ofoto acquisition – this unit needs to show money. What Kodak does not get is that I do have a ton more choices today – and so do they. Enter a slew of online back-up services – Carbonite
, Mozy
, iDrive
, Box.net
. All Kodak had to do is partner with one of these companies to offer their best customers more space, AND thus increase their reach. Or maybe they could have looked at the cloud and made a deal with Amazon.com. But I bet Kodak’s corporate culture is just so introverted, with so many departments needing to have a say – legal, compliance, sales, purchasing, finance – that a creative solution to their storage issues was not possible.

I suppose I could have even sympathized with Kodak had they thought about how to communicate this term of change to me. Had they been more caring, more human... Oh, but I am sure those corporate politics got in the way yet again – so marketing there had to leave it to legal and finance.

The Kodak brand is tarnished for me – and from this moment on, I will grant my loyalties to another file share site – one that gets that in this flat world we live in it is all about relationships. I will go out of my way to avoid purchasing anything with Kodak on it. Once you screw that up, there is no turning back.
Scratch

3 comments:

  1. I got the same email and was actually considering maiking the purchase, just so I still have access to my friends' albums.
    Did you know even at CVS.com, Target.com, you can store pictures and order prints online?
    Horribly worded email, though, you are right... Big stupid move...

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  2. I'm so angry at Kodak. I bought one of their lcd frames 2 holidays ago when they were pricy. And now they're trying to squeeze more money out of me. Booo Kodak! It's a sign of the beginning of the end of this company.

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