Why does Shutterfly succeed while Kodak flails?


Take a moment to think about your family photo albums. Now think about the photos on your iPhone….your computer…your Facebook page….sitting in your digital camera. And what about before the digital world…the rolls of film left undeveloped?

It’s a problem that brands like Kodak and Fujifilm were unable to solve yet digital photography website Shutterfly used to its advantage to dominate more than 50% of the market share in the post-photo products and services category.

Why does Shutterfly succeed while other, even more popular household names fail? According to this article by Ad Age, it’s a combination of acquisitions, innovation and integrated marketing. Shutterfly took over small innovators and big-brand competitors’ businesses while pushing forward on new kinds of photo products and services.

Ad Age notes:

“The average person looks at their phone more than 150 times a day, and there have been more pictures taken in the last three years than all the time before that, and it’s mostly mobile.” John Boris, Sr VP CMO Shutterfly.

Shutterfly found a way to adapt to an industry that was in dire need of a specific solution and a simple yet effective (and profitable) way to fill a gaping void.

Consider this: there is an entire generation of young people who don’t even think about printing pictures. Those digital images are stuck in an unprofitable place — the camera.

It may not be a household name yet, but Shutterfly has found a way to unlock them.


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