Photo Organization, Photo Organization Coach, Photography, Scrapbooking

Think of It as an Exotic Sports Car

MEMORY KEEPING 101 – WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Quick Name that Car!

Most people in the world wouldn’t recognize this car, yet it’s one of the best there is. It also is not a Ford, Chevy or Chrysler. Companies and politicians hustle for name recognition, because when most of us are in a pinch, we go for what we know. But I ask you – is that the best way to make a decision? Not if you want a luxury sports car. And certainly not if you’re about to digitize your memories.

If someone would deliver this car to your home, would you quibble over what the label said? Chances are you wouldn’t. You’d just want to grab the keys and roll. If you can get the best digitization service for the same price as a mediocre one, wouldn’t you want the best? When it comes to Memory Keeping, there are a lot of names which might immediately come to mind, but does that mean they are the best or does it just mean they have the biggest advertising budget?

The digital memory keeping company I work with, Forever, is not a household name. When it comes to digitization, there is another company which is on the radio and TV all the time with their boxes. Most people would recognize their name, but I’m not going to say it. There’s also another company which promotes their boxes as being in the same league, but are they? (And what about that company you saw in a strip center or some guy in your networking group that turns your photos into video? Talk about not in the same league!)

So, when these other digitization box companies are more familiar to most households, why should you go with Forever? I’m glad you asked!

Level of Care

While we’re on the subject of cars, think about the Mercedes Benz AMG line. You may not even know it stands for Aufrecht, Melcher and Gro├časpach, but chances are you have a clue those letters mean you’re looking at a Mercedes Benz superior to those which don’t have that designation. Among the reasons it’s better is the tag which shows who built your car over a matter of days, as opposed to other cars which are built on an assembly line by multiple people.

When it comes to digitization, those other guys are one-and-done. They slap a video or film in the machine, run it through and move on to the next one. That’s not the case at Forever. Eric Napier, Forever’s Director of Digitization explains the difference, “FOREVER will run each tape or film 2-3 times to get the best capture possible, edit the dead spots, clean up the tracking, video and audio as much as possible. We also provide editing, batch color correction and photo repair services that other companies don’t offer.”

Sounds kind of like the difference in a MB AMG and a Ford Pickup doesn’t it. A Ford Pickup is a great vehicle. It’s just not made with the level of care of a MB AMG. And here’s where my analogy falls apart. Regardless of which vehicle you might want, most of us can’t afford an MB AMG, but we might squeeze together enough for the Ford Pickup. But if you could pay the same for both, which would you choose? (Yes, if you own a ranch or a farm, you’ll go for the pickup truck, but you know what I mean.)

In the world of digitization, the sticker price of our small digitization box is virtually the same as the one-and-doners – in fact, there was a two cent difference on the day I checked. Now which digitization box would you prefer? Prices are subject to change and there are different specials going on at any given time, but generally, you are going to find that FOREVER and those guys are going to be in the same ballpark price wise, but FOREVER will always be a world apart in the level of care they offer.

Where’s My Stuff?

On the front end of the service, all the box services look a lot alike. They ship you a box. You fill it and send it back to them. Then your stuff is digitized. Each service does things a little different. Some include bags, some don’t. Some use a list, while others use barcodes. PaTAYto, PaTAHto. It doesn’t really matter.

As I’ve already mentioned, the prices are pretty much the same, including the shipping, but here’s the difference. FOREVER’s shipping price includes sending your stuff back to you – theirs doesn’t. That means if you want any or all of your hard copy items back, you’re going to have to pay extra, if you can get them back at all.

So, shipping differences aside, where does your digitized content end up. Well, all the companies are happy to provide you with a DVD or thumb drive, but is that what you want? I can tell that’s what the other guys want you to have. That’s because they are building a book of business for the future. Just as DOSS, Fortran, VHS, floppy discs and Betamax have all gone obsolete, the day will come when those DVD’s and thumb drives are a thing of the past. They’re banking on being around to “digitize” you all over again. Not FOREVER.

We’re hoping you’ll buy your own little piece of the Cloud, so when obsolescence sets in, you can enjoy the promise FOREVER makes to you. They will reformat your images to whatever format comes along when jpg, png, mp4 and their friends are a thing of the past. Never heard of anything like that? That’s because nobody else offers it!

Now, those other guys offer a piece of the cloud, too, but all they are going to do is rent it to you. We’ve all gotten so used to paying for online services by the month or by the year that many people assume that’s what FOREVER is offering and wow, do our prices look ridiculous. Take a second look, those guys are offering to lend you a little space with all the compressing, deleting, sharing, mining and selling that’s comes with that. In this case, it’s FOREVER that’s one-and-done. You pay us once for storage and you’re done forever!!

Look What I Found!!

There’s yet another reason you’ll prefer FOREVER over everyone else. If you have a shoebox of snapshots and a few VHS tapes, anybody can do those. Maybe not as well as FOREVER, but they can do them. Now, what if what you want digitized is larger than 8.5X11 or it’s 16mm or audio or it’s a scrapbook or you’d like to get your DVD’s uploaded. Fuhgeddaboutit! If it’s not plain and simple (see “Level of Care”) they aren’t interested. See the more kinds of things you want to digitize the more kinds of equipment you need and your staff will have to be trained on them.

One of the members of my team told a story one evening. FOREVER called her to apologize, because they were going to be behind schedule delivering an order. The reason for the delay was the fact that the object was so obscure they didn’t have the right machine. Who else but FOREVER would find out what they needed, find the right thing and buy it – at no additional cost to the customer? Everybody else would just say, “Gee, I’m sorry,” but that’s because they are in the digitization business and FOREVER is in the memory keeping business. It’s just what we do!!

Get the Best for Your Memories

So, FOREVER is like an exotic sports car, but it costs about the same amount as that family sedan in your neighbor’s drive way. I’d be driving the MB AMG, wouldn’t you? The color of your digitization box does matter.

So, perhaps you’re still wondering about what I’ve said. Maybe you don’t think you can believe me. Well, how about Trust Pilot? Do you think you can trust them?

Here’s what they have to say about FOREVER and the competition. I’ve blanked out their names, so as to avoid finger pointing, but no one comes near to us.

Since the color of your box does matter, let me help you get the Blue FOREVER box for your digitization needs.

Thanks for coming by. Drop in next week for more NYC, more Memory Keeping 101 and another Weekend Report.

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