Kodak called in anthropologists and other social scientists, who observed camera users in an effort to learn how taking and printing pictures fit into their daily lives. They also followed prospective camera buyers into stores to understand how they chose certain models from the crowded shelves.
The research was part of Kodak's effort to reorganize its digital camera product line by transforming product design, manufacturing and marketing. The company's big decision was to focus on low-priced, easy-to-use cameras that would appeal to women, who take the majority of snapshots, rather than Sony's forte - shiny toys for gadget-loving men.
That strategy paid off as digital cameras moved into the mass market. This year, Kodak's EasyShare brand has almost 19 percent of digital camera sales in the United States, a very close second to Sony and ahead of Canon, according to IDC, a technology research firm.
- Kodak Updates Its Brownie to Compete in a Digital Age @ nytimes.com