Toward the end of last year I had a conversation with an imaging retailer who was closing his doors here on Long Island after about 10 years in business. I had been brining in my media cards for processing the last few years and we always talked shop for a few minutes whenever I stopped by.
The reasons for his closing down were numerous and he also had another business interest outside the industry that he was sliding into, so certainly not a tragic tale.
What he said about the industry was quite telling however and it got me to thinking that the time was ripe for some changes to Picture Business (more on that in minute). He said that he felt the way people thought about and interacted with their images today was so radically different than it was even just a few years ago and that he was simply having trouble keeping pace with the “new” consumer. He added that the idea of a photo print was so foreign to such a large (and growing) percentage of his customer base and that the “mobile, connected crowd uses imaging so frenetically, I’m just not so sure exactly how to cater to and profit from them.” He closed by saying, “When you feel like you can’t address or even fully understand your customers’ needs, it’s time to move on.”
I dare say, lots of retailers appear to be running from this trend rather than running toward it. That being said, we thought there needs to be a trade magazine that better addresses these changes in consumer behavior and helps retailers gain a better understanding of how to cater to this new “frenetic” imaging customer that is confounding so many of us.
Beginning with the September issue, Picture Business will become Picture Business & Mobile Lifestyle magazine – a title that we think will better reflect the new ecosystem this industry is now part of. Consumer imaging has evolved from a time when people captured memories of “special moments” in their lives to a world where consumers now want to share “every moment” in their lives. The “look at me” generation is in full swing and the trick today is to tap into that immediacy and provide solutions that enhance and enrich those experiences. Perhaps we’ve all been a bit guilty of trying to force this crowd into an old pair of shoes.
Consumers are communicating with images in myriad ways no one could have possibly foresaw just a decade ago and mobile/wireless technology is leading the charge here. While the imaging channel hasn’t fully grasped the mobile/wireless world, the mobile channel has never completely understood the devices they are selling all have image capture capability. There’s a need for a trade magazine that speaks to both of these worlds and helps bring them together. They’ve each got something the other covets.
Picture Business & Mobile Lifestyle will provide that bridge. Each issue will present and examine the new profit centers that exist within each of these channels – existing as well as those yet to be discovered. We’ll also provide expert analysis on where these converging markets are headed in the years ahead and how best to navigate and profit within them.
Everything about this industry has changed except the trade magazines covering it. Now that’s about to change too. As always, we’ll look forward to your feedback and hope you enjoy this new direction we are all headed in.