Friday, May 11, 2007

Good, Better, Bad Ink

HP has devised a new scheme for vending printer cartridges. First, why are these schemes always using the primary colors; how about the purple, teal, and burnt umber scheme? Oh well, let's continue.

Instead of the one-size-fits-all model (which HP had for 25 years), the new model has three different cartridge types. I'll cut to the chase - “Standard” cartridges (in the blue) are going to be cheaper to buy, “Value” cartridges (in the green) will be cheaper per page, and “Specialty” cartridges (red) will be the expensive, high end ink.

On the face of it, the scheme seems ridiculous - you have to choose between low cartridge price or low cost per print? (Note: I'm just completely forgetting about the red ones.) Kodak agrees, who saw the announcement, and mentioned it was a great marketing campaign for them because it endorses their own strategy :

"Volume discounts aren't new," Kodak added. "Kodak believes consumers will be more delighted with its approach because they will get both a low cost-per-page AND an inexpensive cartridge - $9.99 for premium black ink and $14.99 for premium, five-ink color cartridges. This will generate real Kodak lab-quality prints for as low as 15 cents apiece. Unlike HP customers, Kodak printer owners won't have to search for special cartridges or pay in advance to get a great value."

Yeah, that's it. Product differentiation is usually a scheme to try and soak up residual value, and my neck is getting a little hot when I have to choose between two different forms of cheap. :: LetsGoDigital

1 comment:

Stanium said...

Primary colors are more simple to understand for most people :) It's no surprise, large corporations consider customers stupid :)

I agree that scheme itself is rather stupid and only makes sense to those who developed it. Anyway, I think the scheme is not to understand, but to make more money on us buying more printer cartridges.

Personally, I stopped buying OEM cartridges and now I'm testing refills. So far so good.