Memories Matter: At a time when the imaging industry is feeling the sting of change, there is a new way to work around some of the challenges by joining forces. The Imaging Alliance is a leader in this collaboration.
The organization, which is comprised of leading imaging companies and dealers in the U.S., is working hard to promote the economic growth and sustainable development of what’s happening now and in the future of the imaging industry. Moreover, they have developed a core community among its members. These members know that together they can make a significant impact rather than going it alone.
Some of their programs involve philanthropic initiatives, like their 10-year-old Portraits of Love program. However, there are significant new programs to support products and services that lead to innovation in capturing, printing, sharing, storing and distributing visual communication.
“The imaging industry is cognizant of the challenges it faces in promoting the sale of ‘real’ cameras as well as in encouraging consumers to print and save their images in albums for future generations,” said Moishe Appelbaum, president of the organization. “The Imaging Alliance, for the first time in the history of the industry, has developed industry-wide campaigns that offer singular, powerful messaging to consumers around these important initiatives.”
The Imaging Alliance recently launched a campaign called Memories Matter that supports both dealers and manufacturers in a collaborative way. The idea that the pictures people take may not be here in 50, 75 or 100 years should be more than a talking point; this has become the backbone of the campaign.
Unlike a print, technology is continuing to change at a pace that is sometimes unimaginable. These changes have resulted in the instant sharing of images. But the “value” of each image is diminished; most of them are shared for an instant and then deleted or sent to the cloud. Over a long period of time, the images will fade into the past. However, those that are printed and archived are guaranteed to last a lifetime.
When was the last time you got together with family and sat around the “cloud” to look at family photos? On the other hand, people still cherish photo albums; however, many of those albums are now from pictures of the past. Many children have never seen a photo of themselves printed and placed in an album. Will those memories be there to pass down to your children, grandchildren and beyond?
The Memories Matter campaign includes two initiatives. The first is a printing program called Project 240; dealers provide customers with a free photo album if they commit to printing 20 photographs a month in-store for one year.
Those 240 photographs will grace the pages of the free photo album and work to bring back the power of the printed image. Customers will rediscover the impact of sitting around with family and flipping through the pages of a photo album, reminiscing about the past year. While it may seem old-fashioned, old is new again. Photo albums and the printed picture need to make a comeback for memories to survive. Importantly, customers will once again get into the habit of printing their favorite pictures, and hopefully continue for years to come.
The program’s objective is twofold. One is to encourage the habit of printing and relieve the anxiety of facing hundreds or thousands of pictures when starting an album. Close to 70% of photo books are abandoned before they are finished due to the overwhelming nature of creating a book. By choosing only 20 pictures each month to print, customers can create an annual book “on the fly.” By the end of the year, they will have a beautiful 240-picture family album.
Another by-product of this campaign is encouraging customers to visit your store every month. Gone are the days of film processing where customers would drop off a roll of film and come back to pick it up—and repeat the process throughout the year. Project 240 encourages monthly store visits, where opportunities for additional purchases occur.
Real Cameras Rock
The second part of the Memories Matter campaign is called #RealCamerasRock; you can instantly figure out the goal of that campaign. How can we, the imaging industry, work together to get “real” cameras back into the hands of consumers? The Imaging Alliance launched an Instagram and web campaign aimed at doing just that. “The imaging industry needs to help consumers understand that if their memories matter, then the camera they use to capture those memories should also matter,” said Appelbaum. “Smartphones are a great tool and their convenience cannot be denied. But there are many pictures that smartphones just can’t take; like that picture of your kid in the outfield or that beautiful night portrait.”
The #RealCamerasRock campaign on Instagram has been running for some time; many people have uploaded photos that only real cameras could have taken. Customers realizing they need a real camera for their most important memories will get them back into the dealers’ stores.
Instagram Campaign Support
“Moreover, as a dealer who joins the alliance, you get access to digital marketing materials for both of these campaigns. They include banner ads, Instagram ads, counter cards, print ads and in-store posters. Dealers are able to download the marketing materials; they can then use them to promote the campaign to their customers online and in store,” Appelbaum added. The Imaging Alliance will be running an Instagram campaign as well in the zip code areas of participating dealers. This is another way the organization will help drive traffic to your store. One of the main ideas is to have as many dealers running the ads with the same messaging.
In addition, dealers can customize that messaging with their logos and links to their websites. Remember network TV campaigns? “We are working hard to create the same effect with Instagram. These campaigns will create a unified message within the imaging industry,” said Appelbaum.
The Imaging Alliance’s media members also have committed to running the print ads in their publications; this allows even more exposure for the campaign. These print ads are already appearing in Outdoor Photographer, Digital Photo Pro, Videomaker and Digital Imaging Reporter, among others.
Imaging Alliance members can download these assets to use in their stores at theimagingalliance.com/memories-matter-resources.
The Imaging Alliance
The Imaging Alliance helps the imaging industry adapt to the technologies and changing consumer preferences that can sometimes keep customers out of the store. Their goal is to get more customers into brick-and-mortar stores as well as online using dealers as their source for their memories.
In addition, the organization promotes the purchase and use of “real” cameras, lenses and accessories. By connecting members to a network of industry leaders, knowledge and insight, they are building a stronger community. Getting involved could move your business forward, as well as help the entire industry prosper.
If you are a dealer or manufacturer who would like to join the alliance and participate in the Memories Matter campaign, contact Jerry Grossman at email@example.com or Michelle Tramantano at firstname.lastname@example.org.