Innovations in Photo Imaging Consortium to Drive Output of Photo Products

Innovations in Photo Imaging Consortium to Drive Output of Photo Products



Bonita Springs, FL—Leading photo-imaging industry suppliers have formed a consortium named Innovations in Photo Imaging to educate American consumers about the importance and convenience of creating keepsakes at retail or online that are uniquely personalized with photos. 

The group will work to increase consumer awareness of the fact that there is “no substitute for the emotional connection achieved through the cherished memories of people, events or scenes revived every day through products featuring photographs.” The consortium believes that as solutions are developed to make imaging even faster and more fun, consumers will further enjoy the emotional benefits of photos and output. 

Founding companies of the Innovation in Photo Imaging consortium are Eastman Kodak, Fujifilm North America, Hewlett-Packard, IPI (Independent Photo Imagers), Noritsu America Corp., Photo Marketing Association International, Unibind/Peleman Industries and Xerox Corporation. Don Franz, publisher of Photo Imaging News, has been asked to serve as secretary/treasurer, providing the administrative support. Membership is open to photo industry suppliers, with PMA and IPI representing the interests of retailers and other professional photo output service providers. 

The initial thrust of the group’s promotion will emphasize the emotional appeal and value of getting a printed photo item; explain the ongoing advances in simplifying the creation process for personalized photo products so consumers are not discouraged by initial difficulties or previous experiences; and provide an overall promotion of outputting photo products. 

“In summary,” said Don Franz, “the aim is to simplify the process, sell the emotion of photo output, and then sound the trumpet, causing consumers to once again enjoy the virtues of life memories. The success of the program will be measured by media coverage that is achieved as well as feedback from retailers about increasing photo sales among their customers.” 

Under the umbrella banner of “Photo Gifts Are Fun: Make One,” the group will initially promote the variety of items that can be made using photos, such as greeting cards, mugs, photo books, calendars, multi-image prints, clothing and accessories, writing pads and jewelry. This will run through the first quarter of 2011, covering Valentine’s Day, Easter, Passover and Mother’s Day. 

At the outset, the consortium will develop promotional programs, including a website and Facebook page, focusing on the U.S. Once established, the consortium expects to expand its activities to include North and South America, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. 

The grassroots initiative would like to involve all industry members in making consumers aware of the wide range of products that can be made with photos and encouraging them to try creating these products. To assist in this effort, the website will contain educational and promotional materials already prepared by members of the consortium. A PowerPoint presentation that can be used by industry members for appearances before community, business and social organizations will be developed. These promotional tools will also be available to members of the media, and individuals within member companies, as well as PMA and IPI officers and directors, will be available for interviews. 

Ultimately the consortium will leverage the power of social media, blogs and forums, viral campaigns and local media to drive its messaging. It is hoped that through social networking, consumers themselves will become the strongest advocates for photo products and photo gifting, heralding the emotional benefits to their peers. 

“I have been very gratified by the willingness of the member companies of this consortium to work together for the benefit of all photo service providers,” said Kodak’s Brad Kruchten, who was elected as the first president of Innovations in Photo Imaging. “We have assembled a dynamic group of people who are passionate about photo retailing and their enthusiasm is contagious.” 

Manny Almeida from Fujifilm North America, designated the first vice president of Innovations in Photo Imaging, added, “We have chosen to try to inform all levels of picture takers through viral marketing and personal involvement of the almost unlimited variety of products that can be personalized with photographs. Our goal is to encourage them to consider creating a unique photo product, knowing that once people become involved in the process of making these products they tend to become repeat customers.”