« on: August 08, 2014, 12:00:14 AM »
DSLRs and toothpaste are in no way comparable and aren't marketed the same way at all. That's absurd.No, it's absurd to suggest that because products are different one can't reuse a marketing idea from another product. Again, it is obviously done all the time. Also, technically toothpaste would not really qualify as a commodity because it is specifically differentiated into types for different functions (whitening, cavity fighting, desensitizing, anti-plaque, etc...) and hence a particular toothpaste from a particular manufacturer is not interchangeable blindly with another in the eyes of a purchaser. While common usage of the term is something exchanged in commerce (which applies to most products), the technical usage of commodity is applied to products like oil or electricity or grain which are truly equal regardless of their origin and therefore can be traded on exchanges. Commodities in this sense are mostly used to manufacture other things, and when traded are usually held to a basis grade. But perhaps you can point to a basis grade for toothpaste on a trade exchange?
Canon and Nikon are in no way trying to flood shelves with a confusing array of bs like laundry detergent or toothpaste. The product types are absolutely, fundamentally different, in every conceivable way short of both of them being sold for money in stores. Now, if you want to talk about Pentax and their rainbow colored assortment of DSLRs that might be a different story...The first line here is reasonably debatable. In my regional camera stores up to 3/4 of the shelf space allotted for DSLR cameras goes to Nikon and Canon. Canon and Nikon also dominate searches on popular websites I use. Perhaps your experience there is different. The comparison is complicated slightly because of the transition from film to digital, but I can still recall in the 90's the fuss made about Canon expanding from four to five EOS camera lines. Canon's current count is ten EOS cameras in production. Four of those lines were started in the last few years, versus one discontinued, for a net increase of three. That is a 40% increase in the number of EOS camera lines in the last few years and 150% overall, which is what the fuss on here was about originally--claims they supposedly offered "too many" and that the company would soon go bankrupt because of Canon's complete insanity. I think these numbers qualify as a significant increase in the number of camera lines, though I don't know how you intended to quantify a "flood."
Adding product lines when in a dominant market position is a well-documented way to expand market share even further. What matters is that the consumer, when faced with a choice, concludes that a) several things your company offers might fit that choice, and b) your company's choices dominate the total number of acceptable choices in sight. The actual count of lines doesn't matter, it's the relative appearance which generates the desired psychological result in the consumer. The odds are outsized, in this case, that the consumer will pick one of your products. How the options are presented to the consumer typically matters a lot more than what category of product it is. For toothpaste, having 50+ product lines matters to create sufficient visual domination when the consumer looks at the store shelf. Ten varieties might be sufficient for laundry detergent. For cameras marketed on, to choose the big example, Amazon, what matters is what the search pages return. If you look at the top SLRs there, almost all of the top 30 models are Canon sprinkled with Nikon--and more models there can generate the same impression in the mind of the consumer as they would on store shelves. It might be relevant that Canon began this expansion from 4 camera lines with the development of on-line retail (call that additional circumstantial evidence, since previously lots of models wouldn't have helped as much since photo stores would probably have chosen not to stock every model).
A stronger line of argumentation might have been to argue that the increase in the number of models offered by Canon served a different purpose. But then you would have to state that purpose, and provide evidence to suggest that this alternate purpose was more important to increasing Canon's profitability.
I'm quite familiar with all of those terms. I've been working in the computer industry for fifteen years. What you keep ignoring is the fact that toothpaste is a commodity, which means that any one toothpaste is almost exactly as good as another. They're literally interchangeable.Your statements in this paragraph contradict one another: clearly you don't know how to identify a commodity, you don't know that toothpaste users exhibit some of the strongest brand loyalty of all products, and you don't know that the differences you're trying to point up are irrelevant as noted above, so therefore you can't be "quite familiar" with marketing. Experience in the computer industry also has no obvious relevance to a marketing discussion. Ask yourself, would you be called to a courtroom to testify as an expert in marketing something at your company? If not, citing your number of years served in an unrelated job merely undermines your credibility further. I have 32 years in the industry--that's not relevant. But I recently reorganized a plummeting department, developed a new marketing plan for its product, and chiefly by doing this have tripled its size in three years. That's relevant experience.
To everyone else: apologies that we've hijacked a geek thread with marketing goop. I hope that if you've waded through all this you'll find it useful in some small way, perhaps over drinks at a party.