Building a photographic system around the user
A Kodak case study

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Page 2: Customer requirements

Kodak 2 Image 3At a simple level, it is possible to identify customer requirements using the sort of common sense which led to the development of many of the world’s best known businesses. Watching a cricket match on a hot summer’s day, it was realised that there was scope to sell soft drinks from a refrigerated van positioned outside the ground. Another enterprising individual spotted the opportunity to sell flowers to people travelling on the railway, so that they could present the flowers to a partner when they arrived home. However, in today’s sophisticated market-place for consumer goods, we need to go well beyond common sense. Consumers want products to provide them with a range of benefits rather than just one simple core benefit. For example, when buying a photographic system, they don’t just want to “take pictures.” Instead they want to be able to produce high quality images, that capture a memorable moment or landscape, they want a camera that is easy to carry around; they want films that are easy to load; they want a quality focus; they want to be able to have their films processed within their chosen time period and much more. They want a sophisticated array of benefits - i.e. they want photographic systems to be designed around them. Today, consumers expect the market to revolve around them.

Why then has Kodak been able to meet the requirements of consumers? Before we look at the product that Kodak has provided for consumers, it is first necessary to look at Kodak’s organisational culture. To be successful in the market-place, an organisation needs to have a culture based around marketing. Driving the culture of an organisation is its “vision” and its “mission” statement. By studying these, it immediately becomes evident why Kodak has been able to serve the consumer.


The Corporate Vision of Kodak is: “Our heritage has been and our future is to be the World Leader in Imaging”. To be successful in meeting this vision Kodak’s mission statement is to: “Build a world-class, results-oriented culture... by to capture, store, process, output and communicate... images to people and machines anywhere, anytime... bringing differentiated, cost-effective solutions.. to the market-place quickly and with flawless quality...through a diverse team of energetic employees with the world-class talent and skills necessary to sustain Kodak as the World Leader in Imaging. In this way, we will achieve our fundamental objective of Total Customer Satisfaction and our consequent goals of Increased Global Market Share and Superior Financial Performance.”

This emphasis is not new to Kodak but it is something to which it has given more priority in recent times. The culture of the organisation is today focused on achieving excellence in every corner of the world by putting the customer first and gearing the company to growth in order to achieve the vision of being the World Leader in Imaging.

The Advanced Photo System should therefore be seen as a product of the way Kodak works today. Over the years, Kodak has been at the forefront of changes in imaging, which are set out in the earlier Times 100 case study “Managing a Product Portfolio” (1995). Kodak recognises that products have a limited life cycle and that it is necessary to introduce newer products and “bigger baskets of benefits.”

Kodak | Building a photographic system around the user