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Straight from the Specialists

So how much is Kodak worth now?

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Kodak, one of the world’s best-known brands, is disappearing. Its products are obsolete; the company didn’t manage to change quickly enough.

Everybody loves the brand but nobody buys the stuff anymore.  Business editors everywhere in the world are writing the same obituaries: how lovely and how sad.

Anybody over 35 has fond memories of Kodak — the film, the cameras, the festivals, the holidays, fun and mementos and memories: all recorded for generations to come.

Why do we buy what we buy?

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Let’s cut out all the marketing jargon and adspeak. Consumers (that means people, you and me) try to buy rationally, on price – it’s cheaper, on quality – it lasts longer, on service – they won’t let you down when things go wrong. And sometimes it is genuinely possible to make rational choices when we buy things. Mostly though it isn’t anymore, because products and services are increasingly similar in their rational characteristics. If they are poorer quality or more expensive than a direct competitor, they die.

The world’s greatest logo

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Whenever I’m interviewed about branding I almost always get asked: “What is the world’s greatest logo?” By which I suppose the interviewer means, what is the world’s most recognised brand?

Why no McDosa?

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The whole world now knows that India has arrived. It isn’t just Infosys and TCS. Tata is the largest manufacturer in Britain with Jaguar Land Rover and Corus — not to speak of Tetley. Bajaj exports a significant proportion of its motorcycle output to Africa — and so on. Indian companies are finally starting to make a significant impact on the global scene.

The ‘Made in India’ effect — it’s time for McDosa

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The Apple iPod has a cutesy little legend on the back which reads ‘Designed in California, Made in China’. Well, the implication of that is quite clear — we in California do the clever stuff and they just stick it together. If it was made in France or Germany, the Apple people certainly wouldn’t be quite so dismissive. ‘Engineered in Germany’ perhaps, or ‘Designed with French flair’.

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