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brand strategy

Kodak Transparency: Exposing Bad News in a Positive Light on Social Media

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 19, 2012 07:29 PM

Eastman Kodak Company’s filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it reorganizes its business raises “the specter that the 132-year-old trailblazer could become the most storied casualty of a digital age that has whipped up a maelstrom of economic, social and technological change,” as the Associated Press (via Time.com) puts it.

“Kodak played a role in pretty much everyone’s life in the 20th century because it was the company we entrusted our most treasured possession to – our memories,” said Robert Burley, a photography professor at Toronto's Ryerson University, to the AP.

And now those memories have been co-opted by the likes of Facebook’s Timeline (which just added 60 new apps) and other online memory-keepers in an age where the business of photography has moved to digital. 

Although Kodak’s press release says, “The Company has made pioneering investments in digital and materials deposition technologies in recent years, generating approximately 75% of its revenue from digital businesses in 2011,” it was not enough to keep the venerable brand solvent.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Kodak, Fujifilm, BP & more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 19, 2012 08:55 AM

In the News

ABC deals with sensitive issue of airing Marianne Gingrich interview before South Carolina GOP primary.

Aetna refreshes its "brand promise."

Apple is expected to unveil digital-textbook service today.

BP agrees to a $20-billion to $25-billion oil-spill deal with Department of Justice, report says.

Christian Louboutin celebrates 20 years of his red-soled shoes.

Citroen ad banned in the UK as seizure-inducing.

Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest, AEG and CAA partner on AXS cable network launch.Continue reading...

breaking news

Kodak Files for Bankruptcy in Bid to 'Transform' Business

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 18, 2012 11:55 PM

The CES announcements, the patent lawsuits against Apple, HTCSamsung and Fujifilm, the restructuring of its business operations, have all been a precursor to this: as expected, Eastman Kodak and its U.S. subsidiaries have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

"After considering the advantages of chapter 11 at this time, the Board of Directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak," Kodak chairman and CEO Antonio Perez stated. "Our goal is to maximize value for stakeholders, including our employees, retirees, creditors, and pension trustees. We are also committed to working with our valued customers.

"Chapter 11 gives us the best opportunities to maximize the value in two critical parts of our technology portfolio: our digital capture patents, which are essential for a wide range of mobile and other consumer electronic devices that capture digital images and have generated over $3 billion of licensing revenues since 2003; and our breakthrough printing and deposition technologies, which give Kodak a competitive advantage in our growing digital businesses."

Kodak's restructuring website reassures consumers that it will be business as usual during the reorganization process, for which it has secured $950 million from Citigroup to maintain operations. The 131-year-old film pioneer, founded in 1880 by George Eastman, expects to complete its U.S. restructuring in 2013, while legal challenges loom over pensions in the U.K. Read the full press release below.Continue reading...

brand strategy

As Layoffs Mount, Ted Williams May Have Most Job Security in America

Posted by Dale Buss on January 18, 2012 03:08 PM

Jobs, jobs, jobs — they remain a topic utmost on Americans' minds as the slowly dropping unemployment rate largely belies the reality of a U.S. labor market that is only slowly picking up momentum. Brand executives know this, and more of them have taken to wielding job creation as a branding device, like Subway.

But corporate strategy sometimes dictates a different turn even when eliminating jobs is the last thing a brand wants to do. Among the big brands announcing layoffs in recent days: Novartis, which is restructuring its U.S. business and cutting 1,960 positions; Goldman Sachs, which laid off 2,400 employees last year with more to come; Citigroup, which is shedding about 5,000 jobs globally; Kraft, which announced that it will cut 1,600 North American jobs as it prepares to split into two companies. All eyes are on Kodak, too, as the company prepares to restructure.

Kraft — which made headlines with one high-profile hire in the past year: golden-voiced homeless-to-Hollywood phenom Ted Williams, at top — is now shedding ballast in order to survive a difficult future, where its strategy is to split into a global snack company and a North American grocery operation later this year.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Kodak Legal Challenges Mount as Bankruptcy Looms

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 12, 2012 10:17 AM

As Kodak's chief blogger cheerily tweets from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, where it's business as usual with product news and its marketing and sales team ensconced in a booth, the company is showing gritty resolve even as it faces possible bankruptcy. It may be having its financial troubles, but it isn’t going to allow itself to be pushed around. Cue the lawyers.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Hostess Brands, Apple, Starbucks & more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 11, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

A&P prepares to emerge from bankruptcy.

ABC plans to screen new TV show in theaters.

Amazon backs Hollywood film-streaming format.

Apple's Tim Cook is America's highest-paid CEO.

Daimler still trying to fix Smart brand.

Fiat will begin to emphasize product marketing over brand in U.S.

Ford cites Thai flood impact on bottom line, while U.S. car-buyers are lukewarm to hybrids.

Fox Sports settles legal dispute with Los Angeles Dodgers.

Friendly Ice Cream exits Chapter 11.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

CES Watch: Polaroid and Kodak Face their Futures

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 9, 2012 01:31 PM

Just because Polaroid isn’t producing the instant film cameras that dominated that marketplace for 60 years doesn’t mean it's just going to disappear from the scene altogether. PetaPixel.com reports that Polaroid and The Impossible Project are teaming up to release 6-10 Polaroid Classic-branded products each year. The first item in their collaboration: a do-it-yourself paper-camera kit. The kit (only $20) contains materials to create replicas of six classic Polaroid cameras out of paper. The set will include little fake Polaroids that will “develop when rubbed,” the site notes.

The two companies famously paired up in 2008 when cofounders Florian Kaps and André Bosman met at a party for the closing of a Polaroid plant in the Netherlands. The pair teamed up (along with Marwan Saba) and bought the plant and its machinery in order to take over the instant-photo business that creates products that work with Polaroid cameras. Now, Impossible has offices in New York and Vienna, while Polaroid is putting its energy into consumer electronics and eyewear these days. The two will also work together to sell off the final “batch of Polaroid film ever produced,” the site notes. 

The announcement of the new products came in conjunction with the kickoff of this year’s massive Consumer Electronics Show. At last year’s CES, Polaroid announced that it had partnered up with Lady Gaga to announce its new Grey Label, which was to be co-designed by the performer.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Siri, VW, Dunkin' and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2012 09:03 AM

In the News

Apple reportedly plans in-store branded boutiques at Target, while the iPhone's new Siri feature is said to double mobile data usage.

Porsche and Volkswagen compensation claims increase, while VW closes market cap gap with Toyota and looks to expand in China and India.

Dunkin' Donuts gears up to double number of U.S. locations.

Alcoa is scaling back.

Audi is adding models to win more U.S. market share.

Baskin-Robbins to expand to Vietnam.Continue reading...

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