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A piece in the Washington Post suggests there’s still a lot of value in Kodak’s film business. Christopher Bonanos says Kodak could learn some things from Polaroid. Kodak is looking to sell its film division (it will hold onto movie film) and Bonanos says the right buyer could do very well.

Here are his lessons:

1. “Don’t be afraid to raise prices.” – Film buffs are die-hards. Film sales actually grew last year.

Over the past few years, the company that bought bankrupt Polaroid started making the product again. It charges $24 for a pack of eight frames. Guess what? People are buying the stuff.

“Boutique prices are going to be part of the future of film, and the devout buyer will adjust,” writes Bonanos.

2. “The only cameras are going to be high-end cameras — and very-low-end ones.”

Kodak is still having a lot of success with disposable cameras. One of the companies reportedly interested in Kodak‘s film unit – Lomography – specializes in cheap, plastic film cameras.

3. “Don’t do anything that someone else can do.”

That’s what the founder of Polaroid, Edwin Land, said.

Kodak still makes super-special lines of film that don’t have any peers. It’s discontinued some of them (Kodachrome), but perhaps they can be revived – at a higher price point.

Bonanos writes, “if you’re going to sell film in the 21st century, you need to think of your product as a fine-arts material.”

4. “The little yellow box is still golden.”

Like Polaroid, Kodak has a powerful brand name. Bank on it.

Bonanos concludes, “nearly everyone who cares about the photographic arts is hoping that someone generous and deep-pocketed is feeling the need for a Kodak moment.”

Read the article, “What Kodak Could Still Learn From Polaroid.”

Business Links of the Day:

– Missouri lawmakers want a meeting with Windstream, saying broadband speeds are as slow as dial-up.

– A Bloomberg columnist speculates Xerox could be the next Hewlett-Packard, having “destroyed more value than it’s created.”

– We should only be excited about manufacturing jobs returning to the U.S. if they pay well.

2 Responses to Film Will Live on After Kodak

  1. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for the linkover. I wanted to provide a very small and quick correction. Lomography’s cameras can actually be extremely expensive. While they do sell Diana F+ and La Sardina cameras, they’re much better known for their LCA + for example.

    Great work you’re doing here though overall!

    -Chris Gampat
    Editor in Chief
    The Phoblographer

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