Oh, this one hurts.
Just when I thought Kodak was set to rise from the ashes with its new disruptive printing technology, I find out what they named the product line.
EasyShare All-In-One printers.
What’s that? Sounds familiar to you? Yes, me too, and not in a good way. EasyShare as a brand name has been around since 2001 to describe, according to Wikipedia,
… a consumer photography system of digital cameras, snapshot printers (ex. KODAK EASYSHARE Photo Printer 500), printer docks (ex. KODAK EASYSHARE G600 Printer Dock), accessories (ex. KODAK EASYSHARE Picture Viewer), camera docks (ex. KODAK EASYSHARE Camera Dock Series 3), software (ex. KODAK EASYSHARE Software v6.0), and online print services (KODAK EASYSHARE Gallery). There are five sub-product camera lines, “series”, that separate the cameras into different classes: EASYSHARE Point and Shoot (C series), EASYSHARE High Zoom (Z series), EASYSHARE Pocket (V series), EASYSHARE Performance (P series), and EASYSHARE-ONE (wi-fi capable).
What a mishmash. And now this great technology, which should have been splashily introduced as the next big, bright new wave in printers is going to be obscured by the foggy cloud of a confusing, weak brand. Whatever the EasyShare brand name means to consumers, “great color at super low cartridge costs” isn’t it.
Because of this ill-conceived brand extension strategy, Kodak will have to spend much more to communicate that this printer is really different. Will the product’s positioning sink in fast enough for it to get a foothold in the market? I hope so, but I have my doubts.