Kodak in Russia

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Kodak in Russia
In the early 1990s, Kodak entered Russia. At the time,
the country was deep in the middle of a turbulent transition from a Communist-run command economy to a
fledgling democracy that was committed to pushing
through the privatization of state-owned enterprises and
economic reforms designed to establish competitive
markets. Kodak’s entry into this market posed a number
of challenges. Russian consumers had little knowledge
of Kodak’s products, and the consumer market for photography was very underdeveloped. Moreover, apart
from state-run stores that were generally poorly run,
there was little or no infrastructure in place for distributing photographic equipment and films and for processing
film. To compound matters, Russian consumers
were poor and unlikely to be able to afford all but the
most inexpensive cameras and films.
A decade later, Kodak’s entry into Russia is widely
regarded as a major success. Russia accounts for a significant proportion of the $2.59 billion in international
sales in emerging markets that Kodak registered in 2004;
and with a growth rate of 26 percent over the prior year,
Russia is the fastest-growing emerging market for Kodak,
outstripping even China. How did Kodak do it?
First, Kodak had a clear and consistent marketing
message that it communicated to Russian consumers
through a number of media, including radio, television,
and print advertising. The marketing message was
based upon the idea of “saving memories” by taking
pictures in a quick and easy way. “You press the button
and we will do the rest” the ads stated. As it turned
out, this was the perfect message for a consumer market
that was not used to photography. To complement the
core marketing message, Kodak spent heavily on
promotional campaigns, exhibitions, conventions,
sponsored events, and the like, in an attempt to educate
consumers and raise awareness of the Kodak brand
name. For example, in addition to standard media...
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