2014 has been a momentous year for Canon India. Unleashing the power of the brand, the year witnessed the launch of several new models as well as aggressive campaigns to connect new customers.
Here’s Canon India 2014 wrap-up by Andrew Koh, senior director, Imaging Communication Products Group, Canon India
Major trends in 2014
In 2014 we have all witnessed the spurt in the growth of online retailers in India. India has over three hundred million Internet users now and e-commerce has opened up a window of opportunity for businesses to expand to new markets. These e-retailers rely on an aggressive pricing model that has significantly changed market dynamics.
Another emerging trend is the stabilization of the declining demand in the compact camera market. While smartphones have cut off a major chunk of compact camera sales across all brands, products with specific USP’s like larger sensors, wide aperture lenses and long optical zooms seem to have piqued consumer’s interest. But one of the biggest trends has to be the sharp rise in the sale of DSLR cameras and lenses. We feel this is indicative of how passionate people are about taking great looking images, and experimenting with higher end products.
Achievements – client wins, sales, volume, revenue growth, people, reach, geographies
We have recorded a tremendous growth in sales volume during the recent festive season, allowing Canon to take the lead in terms of market share for DSLR cameras. In fact, in September and October this year, we shattered all previous records for sales revenue.
This year we have also embarked on an exciting quest to focus our Canon Image Square stores (CIS Stores), which is our retail presence, in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. This will bring us closer to our consumers, and allow people in these smaller cities to experience the wonders of photography, as well as get a hands-on experience with Canon cameras, lenses, accessories and even participate in exciting activities. We recently opened CIS stores in Sangli (Maharastra), Kohima (Nagaland) and Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), and now have 121 such stores across the country.
Canon’s strategy in 2014 to win customers
This year, we focused on expanding our CIS stores to tier 2 and tier 3 cities. This important project was undertaken for a couple of reasons. First, we wanted to introduce a much wider audience to our products and services, as well as give them a place to get a hands-on experience with our latest cameras and lenses. Secondly, we feel there is huge untapped potential in these regions.
For the festival season we undertook an aggressive tactical, integrated marketing campaign featuring unbeatable promotional offers which helped us garner first place in the DSLR market share in India. With an aggressive social marketing campaign around our festive season offers that consisted of bundled goodies, an matchless double zoom combo price on the EOS 1200D, and exciting gift vouchers from Indigo Airlines to be won, we literally stormed the market, garnering by far, the largest monthly sales figures we’ve seen till date.
On 27thSeptember this year, we organized the 5th edition of the Canon Photomarathon in Bangalore. The Photomarathon is a unique initiative to creatively engage with consumers and help them compete and refine their skills through a live, world-class photography competition. Additionally, we also organize photography workshops, photo walks and photo tours for consumers around the country.
We launched Canon Professional Services (CPS) in India, which is an exclusive membership service for professional photographers that are using Canon cameras and equipment. Members can enjoy a range of benefits, including discounts for servicing, priority repair services and free back-up equipment loans during repairs.
Given our success in 2014, we feel our multi-pronged approach to addressing consumers in India is working for us. Of course this is a huge market, with even greater potential and we will leave no stone unturned in tapping this in the coming year.
Good and bad moments in digital camera market in 2014
We are having a good year with unprecedented success in some areas. There was a tremendous response to our promotional offer and our aggressive integrated promo-driven marketing campaign during the festival season, which helped to take our sales revenue to never-seen-before heights.
Canon’s focus areas and strategies in 2014
At the beginning of this year, Canon executed a massive integrated campaign aimed at making DSLR cameras a more affable gadget. As a result, an increasing number of people are now passionate about photography and we are keen to develop this trend even further.
We have focused on the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities with our retail presence by opening new CIS stores in select regions aimed at exposing more people to the world of cameras and photography.
Our aggressive integrated marketing campaign during the festive season helped us solidify our position as the Number 1 DSLR brand in the country. Through events like the Canon Photomarathon and other on-ground activities like workshops and photo walks we have made extra efforts to promote the culture of photography in the country.
We have also invested efforts in working with our retail and channel partners in light of the shifting market dynamics, especially online retail, and this is also working out well for us.
Trends to watch in 2015
DSLR sales will continue to grow and more and more people will buy a DSLR camera, in not just tier 1, but tier 2 and tier 3 cities. We also foresee DSLR cameras becoming a gadget of want, and an essential part of the tech-savvy urbanite’s lifestyle.
With increasing internet connectivity, we feel the market share of online retailers will most likely continue to rise through the year. Thus, in all probability, we will also see brands spending more on online marketing, especially social media marketing.
Strategy in 2015
We will continue to invest more in taking our retail presence i.e. our CIS stores to smaller towns and cities across India. The concept of Canon Image Square stores is pretty well known in Tier I cities of India, and we feel this activity will yield favourable results. In addition to offering complete photography and printing services, the Canon Image Square stores allow customers to experience a broad range of consumer products. From the current 121 CIS stores, we hope to take this number to well over 150 in the coming year.
We will also continue to invest in promoting photography in India, through workshops and seminars by professional photographers, photo walks and even photography tours. Additionally, we will continue to conduct workshops for kids in schools, introducing them to the wonderful world of photography.