We have not heard much from Black Photo Corp. lately. Back when printing pictures was the only way to see them, Black's was one of the dominant players. Now, people view electronic photo albums on their smart phones or on the internet. Black's still makes half of its revenues from selling cameras, but is now banking on selling T-shirts and mugs to improve performance. That's right, the other half of Black's revenue comes from putting pictures on promotional items such as mugs and T-shirts. Quite a change from where Black's used to be. Black's is now investing time and money in growing this portion of their revenue. Is this a good move? It depends on how easy Black's makes the process. Right now, it is very easy to upload photos online and have albums and other items made and delivered. This can be done at various different sites and it is difficult to distinguish between the different offerings. Black's needs to make it easy and they need to provide some additional value to attract new customers. Their brand recognition is not what it used to be, so they need to sell the value to potential customers as well as ensure delivery and quality are of a high caliber. It is an interesting scenario to need to re-establish yourself in a market where you used to be a dominant player, but that is what happens when you play behind the curve instead of ahead of it.
Black's has also recently announced a new website in partnership with Telus to make uploading and sharing photos online simpler. This new site also links from an app on a Telus phone to make photo-sharing much easier. We will see how much of an impact this will have on Black's success…it is certainly a step in the right direction.