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Kodak's Chris Payne talks about their new tagline

Published on December 10, 2012

Chris Payne, VP of Marketing at Kodak, talks to Cary Sherburne about their new slogan "Yellow Changes Everything", how they chose it and the larger meaning for Kodak and the industry.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink and I’m here with Chris Payne who is Vice President of Marketing at Kodak. Welcome.

Chris Payne: Thanks very much for having me, Cary.

Cary Sherburne: Nice to see you. Wow, that’s a snappy bright yellow tie you have there. Does that by any chance have anything to do with your new tagline – Yellow Changes Everything.

Chris Payne: It certainly does. I think I’ve even got yellow blood flowing through me.

Cary Sherburne: Oh my gosh.

Chris Payne: Just a little bit about what it means. Obviously yellow relates to Kodak but the industry is changing and we think about the multichannel communication world that we live in. Clearly that’s gonna change the industry and as we move forward that, in turn, is changing everything that our customers do. It’s changing the solutions they need and it’s, in turn, changing how we change the things that we do for our customers as we begin to add value to our customers, our business. So, fundamentally we’re looking at the industry having to move towards premium printed product where we add value to the page and the change that we see caused by the Internet and then rippling through by application actually in a different way is everything about change and then how Kodak is gonna help the market and that customer has changed too.

Cary Sherburne: And so this, I think, in some circles is a little bit of a controversial tagline, right? Some people like it, some people don’t like it. It kind of grows on you, I guess, after a while.

Chris Payne: Yeah.

Cary Sherburne: Talk about that a little bit.

Chris Payne: Yeah, so when we chose the tagline we were really looking for something that talked about the future and we had a lot of debates internally and even with customers about the choice of tagline. The great thing about the tagline is it generates conversation. It generates conversation about the industry and about our participation in the industry and about how our customers are willing to change. So I think it’s good that people want to talk about it – good or positive. But it’s clear that the industry’s changing. You see that in the various solutions that are being created and certainly Kodak wants to be part of that leadership of the change.

Cary Sherburne: You know it’s interesting because Kodak is kind of positioned right at the crossroads of the transformation that’s happening in the industry. You’ve got deep roots in, you know, conventional printing and flexo and offset and so on. And you’ve got – well, as deep a roots as anybody could have I suppose in digital since it’s relatively new, right, in the marketplace. So talk a little bit about how you see that your role in that sort of hybrid environment that we’re in right now.

Chris Payne: So we see the hybrid environment in being absolutely critical and you’re right, we have this heritage of offset portfolio, heritage in flexo and color management and workflow. And if you go back all the way to the acquisition, to 2004, we said then that it would be a hybrid world and we said we can add all these things into the world. The most exciting thing for me is how we’re seeing the world being hybrid. You know, and I’ve got a different definition from that today than I had even four years ago. Digital technology sitting right beside the offset **** in a shop. And now, right…

Cary Sherburne: It’s actually the machine.

Chris Payne: It’s on top of the machine in terms of imprinting heads. It’s in the finishing line and even more exciting like we’re doing with the T-Press at Timsons, they’ve taken an offset press, they’ve taken out the offset technology and they put in digital technology. It’s the same system and there’s even examples where you’re gonna see the offset technology and then the imprinting technology is going across the whole page in the one place. So I think hybrid is everywhere and, you know, I think that’s the nature of the industry. And any strategy that you read says, you know, the new technology will always help the old technology be more efficient and I think that’s what we’re seeing. And, you know, we’re seeing it everywhere with every customer we go meet.

Cary Sherburne: That’s terrific. Thanks.

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