Digital Cameras – “Value Equivalence Line” Economics of Price and Quality

EconomicvelvaluemapWe do a decent amount of internal training, including the basics of economics.  I don’t think you can really grasp branding and positioning without also understanding the concept of a Value Equivalence Line.  I have always used digital cameras as my example with megapixels going up, price going down, and the VEL moving to the right over time to demonstrate the economics of technology.

Well, I guess I can’t do that anymore…  From David Pogue at the NYT with emphasis added by me.

* Another InfoTrends analyst reported, surprisingly, that digital camera sales have actually peaked, and has declined since last year. Meanwhile, the manufacturers are feeling the pain: Konica Minolta has exited the Canadian market, Sony and Olympus have cut camera production and workforces, and the Kyocera/Yashica/Contax corporation has exited the digital camera market entirely.

The VEL image (above) is from The Price Advantage, by Marn, Roegner and Zawada – definitely worth the $70 USD if you are in marketing given the importance of price in communicating brand value and moving products and services "off the shelf".

Kodak – “keep me, protect me, share me, and I will live forever.”

KodakkeepmeBrilliant advertising by Kodak.  Great Creative.  Crappy Search Engine Optimization.  That’s why you are reading this post.  One more reason you should not confuse the work with the work product.

Let’s start with the awesome Kodak advertising creative.  Stay with me, I’ll explain why it is awesome… So I just saw a Kodak commercial that was brand-worthy, and what I recall from one viewing (no tivo yet, sorry) is:

the pictures are saying "keep me, protect me, share me, and I will live forever."

Kodak

Brilliant brand strategy.  That is worth repeating "keep me, protect me, share me, and I will live Kodakhomepage forever".  That is the brilliant branding part.  They are NOT talking about how Kodak is different – we wouldn’t buy it anyway.  Kodak was in denial for how long?  Now they are over it, and thank heaven they are promoting the category as opposed to a particular product.  That is branding.  I am hooked.  I want someone to think about pictures of my family in that context.  "keep me – protect me – share me – and I will live forever" – just awesome stuff.

To harp on the divergence concept (I always do that with the current book I am reading, sorry) they are focused on accepting the new branch of the tree and growing.  Now, if the ad agency (who is it?  will we know before next year’s Addys?) would please PLEASE post the text of the advertisement on the Kodak.com web site so your google search query would go there instead of here….. 

To my comment about not confusing your work with your work product, what I am referring to is the desire of creatives to write ABOUT their ads in the same tone as the advertisement itself.  This is stupid.  To describe great advertising creative with the same funny text AS the creative, which always excludes the keywords, is stupid.  The kodak advertisement I am describing never mentions digital camera.  Great creative.  Crappy Search Engine Optimization.  That is a problem if you are trying to sell cameras online.  Yes keep the creative, but also post it to your site with a realistic description in freakin’ English that lists the product and brand names.

Free tip – run this keyword density analyzer on your advertising copy.  It will help.