Kodak’s Identity Crisis and Why their Return to Prominence is Still a Long Way to Go

Kodak, the camera behemoth of the 90s, is attempting to reinvent itself after nearly fading into obsolescence. It is now heading into a different direction, from providing hardware and technologies into the print industry, to some form of a retro brand that targets niche markets. In the article “From skate to streetwear: Kodak’s plans to bring back its consumer brand in a ‘big way’,” Kodak basically took an about-face from making cameras to selling vintage clothing. While this may be slightly profitable for now, this strategy won’t really elevate them back to “consumer brand” status. Once the hype fizzles out, this move could even prove disastrous and push them fully off the edge, into extinction.

To fully understand Kodak’s moves, let’s look at how they’re shaping up their strategy that will hopefully put them back into the limelight.

Kodak was one of the tech giants in the 90s, practically dominating the camera industry until the early 2000s. Unfortunately, it was not able to keep up with the emerging new tech, and went bankrupt a decade later. Nowadays, Kodak is thriving in the brand licensing and consumer product business, with roughly $50m in revenue in Q3 of 2018.

But for Kodak, that’s not enough to regain the recognition they once enjoyed in the 90s. That’s why they’re attempting to boost brand recognition through creative social media marketing, employing a handful of influencers to bring in more customers to buy in to their business. They’re targeting modern consumers – young adults who are tech and social media savvy. These are the people born in the late 90s to early 2000s, the period where Kodak faded out of consumer’s minds.

Kodak’s nostalgic appeal