Few brands are as well-recognized and respected all over the world as KODAK. Founded by George Eastman in 1888, the Kodak brand led the photographic film market during the 20th century. Their expertise in imaging earned them 90% of the market in the United States alone.
Thirty years ago, when Kodak came to LMCA, they were best known as leaders in photographic film products. LMCA understood that the brand had tremendous equity, awareness and value. Driven by the strategic and creative vision to bring Kodak into products and services that enhanced the brand’s value and broaden its portfolio, LMCA extended Kodak into progressive lenses that are now available across Europe, US, Russia, Mexico, South Africa and India.
“The longevity of this Kodak extension and its tremendous success centers on the creative and strategic foundation in which the extension was considered and developed,” said Philip Raia, LMCA’s SVP of Brand Licensing, and architect of the deal. “When we first looked at Kodak, we were bringing them extension ideas that were closer to their core business and made sense for the brand. As we took a deeper dive into where the equity of the brand lies and where it could go, three core Kodak attributes stood out- color, clarity, and technology.”
The strategic extension that made a lot of sense with those attributes in mind were prescription eyeglass lenses. While there had been brand names in eyewear, no one real brand dominated the eye lens space, and Kodak was just the brand name to stand out from the pack to create a meaningful competitive advantage. Focusing on the core equities that Kodak embodied, distinctive color, striking clarity and advanced lens technology, LMCA found the perfect partner in the lens manufacturer Signet Armorlite. This partnership gave Signet, who had been in the lens manufacturing business for over 40 years, the brand name that people trust as a leader in imaging, color and clarity. It also brought substantial benefits to Kodak, broadening their business portfolio, creating touch points for the brand in meaningful ways, pushing the brand beyond exclusively photographic film products, and generating revenue in a new and future-oriented business.
“It’s hard to believe this deal took place three decades ago,” said Raia. “Its lasting success is a tribute to thinking strategically and creatively when it comes to brand licensing and is a testament to finding the right partner. Not one who will just generate revenue for your business, but one that will actually help grow and push forward your mission in novel and innovative ways.”
Today, the award-winning Kodak Lenses exemplify the continuation of Kodak’s legendary tradition of imaging expertise through advanced optical digital technology. Every Kodak Lens is individually crafted to the highest possible standards. This guarantees that the Kodak Lens you choose will provide richer, clearer, more vibrant and colorful vision. The legacy of Kodak Lens performance and innovation is found in every pair.
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