As I wrote last year, Polaroid is making a comeback. The great instant camera which I becoming a larger cult item with every digital camera sold will soon be available again. The Pic-1000 will be available in two version: A plastic metal look alike, and my favorite, the wooden edition pictured above.
I posted about this great documentary back in may. For those of you who have missed this post, RiP: A Remix Manifesto is a documentary film about what our current culture of filesharing etc. is doing to copyright etc. Very interesting stuff. But what I wanted to let you guys know, is that it will be on TV tonight, for dutchies only… It will be on Nederland 3 at 20.30h in Het Uur van de Wolf.
Everybody knows that before a product gets launched, there is always a period of testing it in ‘beta’. After the feedback of the beta-testers comes back the product is improved and launched. Nothing new right? What this theory argues is that in the future products will have to be in beta-mode forever as they reach different groups of consumers with different needs. What will happen then is that what started out as one product will evolve into multiple variations of the same product, satisfying consumers from multiple markets. Here again we see Chris Anderson’s Long Tail theory in action. In the future, there will be less and less mass market products and niche products will thrive.
Going into Forever Beta mode is what companies will have to start doing soon in order to secure existence in the future. I’ll bet you there are countless start ups out there already involving their customers continuously in their product development process, taking the principle of web 2.0 into the offline world. This is slowly but certainly taking away the customers of the large and slow incumbents which are too busy defending their ‘present’ and forgetting about tomorrow…
OK guys, here’s one that is about toilets. Yep, toilets. While traveling through Germany on my way to Florence a couple of weeks ago I was amazed by the German Sanifair system at all the autobahn service areas.
Usually you have to pay 50 cents for some dodgy, smelly toilet where you feel everything you touch might kill you. Besides the fact that the toilets are extremely clean, this is not the reason for writing this post. They have come up with another great business model. You have to pay 50 cents to get in, but this gets you a ticket. This ticket gives you a 50 cent discount on all your purchases in the store.
Great idea if you ask me. Besides the fact that you get your money back, it also stimulates the sales in the store as people don’t want to ‘waste’ their 50 cent discount. They have created a win/win situation. Now this is an example of smart marketing at work.
Finally people in the music industry are waking up and are starting to reinvent the business model! Instead of suing everybody for millions of dollars, some people are actually thinking about the future of the industrym and not fighting to preserve the past. Meet The Music Tee. Featuring the album artwork on the front, the tracklist on the back and a unique code on the hang tag with a url and download code with which the album can be downloaded.
Created in collaboration with clothing line LnA, Downtown Music and Invisible DJ, the Original Music Tee was a mix tape release by Invisible DJ. Now rapper Mos Def is also launching his new album ‘The Ecstatic’ as a music tee. I haven’t been able to check out the album just yet, but as a marketer I think it is great to see that a main stream artist like Mos Def is picking up on this new creative initiative and promoting it to the masses. This proves to all musicians that there is still money to be made. The only thing is that you have to be more creative about it. People are still willing to pay for your music, the only thing you have to do is offer them something extra.
The Mos Def music tee will be available through Downtown Music from july 7th, and will sell for $40,-.
I find it a very interesting and smart business concept. How much do we spend on a tshirt usually? Easily more than $40,- right? So now I get a free album with it. Very smart thinking guys. Great marketing! I wonder how long it will take for the merchandise sellers at concerts etc to start complaining about their business being killed and unfair competition… Million dollar lawsuits anyone?
In Florence I bumped into Foto Locchi. Drawn in by the large (and cheap!!) vintage sunglasses collection I wandered into one of the coolest optic stores I’ve ever been. Founded in 1924 this store is must for every sunglasses lover out there. Not that the decoration was that great, but the sheer passion and expertise with which the personnel helps you there make it a great shopping experience. And the great collection of course. Let the elderly lady pick a pair of glasses for you, and you will not be disappointed. Every one of her picks is a hit. Besides that, she is not afraid to keep you from buying a pair which doesn’t suit you.
I wish more stores where this passionate about their products. This still is the best marketing ever: Passion for your business. Something you find in Italy more than anywhere else.
Another nice app for all you iPhone-owning decorators out there: Colorsnap. Paint producers Sherwin/ Williams have created this smart iphone app. Colorsnap allows you to take a picture of whatever it is the color you like off and telling you the exact buildup of these colors. The only thing you have to do is get to a store and but the colors. Now this is making smart use of iPhone’s capabilities! Unfortunately the results are not always as you expect them to be because of the poor quality of the camera…
This is such a smart thing to do. To me, this proves that every kind of company can create smart apps which actually have an added value for the user. All it takes is creative thinking. And that’s where it stops at most companies… Well done Sherwin/ Williams!
I think it was over a year ago when Polaroid announced it would stop producing their instant development film. It immedatly popped into my mind that this was an opportunity to see Chris Andersons’ Long Tail in action.
Although the lion’s share of the market has been replaced by cheap digital camera’s, this is a classic product for communities. Based on nothing more than my gut feeling, I’ll bet you that there is are many communities of Polaroid lovers out there (besides the guys selling roses in the streets of course), willing to spend money on their beloved film.There is just something magic about waving those little pictures around and see them instantly develop.
The digital revolution has swept a way the mass market appeal of the Polaroid, mainly because it is far more expensive. Nevertheless, in its slipstream it has created room for the Polaroid as a niche product, focused on zealous users. If the people at Polaroid had been smart about it, they would still be making money on the films. It just requires a new perspective. Although the market may be smaller, it is definitly interesting enough to continue production in a smaller (i.e. more efficient) way.
That’s exactly what Florian Kaps must have thought when he heard the news. Together with former Polaroid employees he is currently trying to revive an old factory in Enschede, The Netherlands. They have managed to get hold of the factories old film production machines so the are on their way to success. However, the complex chemicals needed for the films Polaroid camera’s use are hard to obtain as the production facilities for these chemicals have also been shut down. However, I am sure Mr. Kaps and his friends will succeed, solely based on their love for the product.
I am sure they will be able to find their niche in the market if they succeed in finding and marketing to the existing communities of Polaroid lovers out there, and if Mr. Kaps needs help marketing the products: Get in touch, I volunteer!