Taking a Second Look

Taking a Second Look


Call this a bit of Spring-cleaning, as there are a few things I’d like to address and get organized in this space this month. I know your first thought is probably, “Spring cleaning? It’s July.” My response back: who among us today is actually organized enough to get to Spring-cleaning prior to the Fourth of July? Please.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, there’s too much going on in this industry lately to focus on any one topic in such a small space so I thought I’d briefly tackle a few. The thoughts below are presented with the idea that you may want to take a second look at a few of these things as we realize you’re under the gun with several thousand other things.

• Pic Biz recently sat down with a couple of kiosk vendors who told us, much to our shock, that their retail customers weren’t overly interested in a kiosk’s ability to track user behavior. One of the vendors even told us it wasn’t really on the radar screen for many of their dealers. Come again? Not wanting to know the behavior patterns of your customers when it comes to the printing of their digital images – such a vital revenue source – seems bizarre to us. Building promotional material around this data can be marketer’s gold, not to mention a great way to perfectly tailor the GUI in future models. Those of you that are currently ignoring this tool might want to reconsider this strategy.

• Image organization for consumers still seems like a problem the imaging industry appears to think is just going to correct itself. I still believe that a service that takes consumers’ hours of video and hundreds of stills and returns to the customer a condensed 45 minute to 1-hour DVD that highlights all these years of memories is THE killer app in DI. We know of at least one company doing this – Pictureal out of San Francisco – and we think retailers that offer this service or some variation on this theme will have found the Holy Grail.

• We absolutely love the amazing evolution, along with the sudden impressive emergence, of the digital frame category. What can’t these things do today? Stills, video, music, wireless sharing capability, changeable frames, increasing internal memory – incredible. We just have one thing to ask of these manufacturers – please remember to offer one, relatively inexpensive model ($50), that simply displays pictures, in slideshow form, when you stick a card in it. Don’t forget the non-techies among us that will jump at that product.

• The multitude of photo products that are available today beyond the 4×6-inch print is mind boggling – photo books, collages, blankets, bobble heads, crystals – the list goes on and on. Yet, I’m still walking in to far too many retail imaging locations and not seeing samples of these products hanging off the walls and adorning kiosks or propped up at the point-of-purchase. This has always been a show-and-tell industry but perhaps now more so than ever. I know a little bit about the excitement these products can generate because I have so many of them displayed in my home and visitors are constantly asking, “Where did you get that. I want one.”

Music to your ears, I’m sure.