September 21, 2014, 12:24:09 AM

Author Topic: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]  (Read 20234 times)

scottburgess

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #180 on: August 07, 2014, 01:09:28 AM »
Funny you should mention that.  The entire collection of DSLR cameras from all manufacturers put together (including Canon and Nikon) come to less than 1% of the camera market once you include all the smartphones, which make up something like 97% of the total camera market.  Canon, in total, also represents somewhere on the order of one percent of the camera market.
No reason to be so obtuse.  By that same logic, smart phones are effectively the only computers and painting canvas.  You could include painting canvas as a photographic medium, too.   But everyone recognizes that desktop computers, DSLRs, and painting canvas have separate target markets from smart phones despite overlaps in functionality.  The discussion was about the number of DSLR models, not an enumeration of every image recording/storing device.

Cameras are not toothpaste.  The assumption that technology is even slightly similar to commodity goods is precisely what nearly caused...
The marketing strategy is what was being discussed.  Any business text or business person can explain to you why DSLRs and desktop computers and toothpaste are all mature technologies and mature markets today and what those terms mean.  These markets all exhibit saturation and incremental technological advances.  Reference the graphs I've posted on the DSLR market and the many articles referenced on these forums concerning saturation of the DSLR market.  If you don't know what these terms mean, and it is becoming clear that you probably don't, then look them up.

That can't not cause customer confusion...
Overwhelming the consumer with choices is part of the marketing strategy as I have noted before.  Go look at how many varieties of Colgate and Crest there are, and their respective market shares--and then explain how this widely replicated and successful strategy can't possibly work in a mature market.  Or don't, but please stop arguing if you are going to continue ignoring observable proof of what actually works in mature markets.

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #180 on: August 07, 2014, 01:09:28 AM »

Bennymiata

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #181 on: August 07, 2014, 03:10:34 AM »
So where's the new announcements?  >:(

crashpc

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #182 on: August 07, 2014, 10:35:39 AM »
So where's the new announcements?  >:(
Waiting for Photokina, obviously....

Steve

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #183 on: August 07, 2014, 02:17:01 PM »
DSLRs and toothpaste are in no way comparable and aren't marketed the same way at all.  That's absurd.  Toothpaste is a commodity, bought by everybody, that is used up and must be replaced periodically; it has also remained completely functionally unchanged for the last several decades.  The only way to differentiate brands is with different colored boxes, flavor additives, and nonsense marketing words plastered on the packaging.  That's why toothpaste marketing is such a bewildering confusion - the product is all identical so the companies have to create an illusion of choice in order to stand out.

DSLRs on the other hand are technology that is constantly changing and improving, are a non-essential luxury item/toy for most, a specialty tool for some and they are marketed as such.  There are discrete pricing levels for different demographics with varying levels of disposable income and needs: entry level Rebels, midpoint xxD's, high end full frame, pro level 1 series.  There has been some further segmentation with the 7D line for high end crop and the 6D/5DIII that divides full frame into low/high but the general principle is still valid.  All of these products are different with pricing that reflects those differences and a presumed customer base.  There is literally an order of magnitude difference in the pricing between the t5i and the 1dx and I don't think anyone here would disagree with me when I say these are absolutely different cameras meant for different users.

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...

Also, dgatwood, using a list of what cameras are still available new on Amazon isn't helpful.  A lot, if not most, of those bodies are discontinued. There isn't much that can be done about old products still being sold by vendors with old stock at ridiculously inflated prices.  Even current production lines aren't really indicative of the overall marketing plan or whats being put in front of consumers.  Canon still manufactures 1v film cameras but I have yet to see one at a Best Buy.  All consumer technology manufacturers put out new, minor upgrades year after year.  Its not unique to the camera industry.

That said, I agree to a point that DSLR selection is confusing but I would put that more on the vague naming conventions than too many products. They're not even clearly iterative in some cases (is a 7D better than a 5D?? The number is bigger but not the price???)  At least Canon was smart enough to give a name to their entry level line.  I'm surprised Nikon hasn't followed suit.  But product confusion is a problem in all sorts of hobbies with specialist equipment and a learning curve.  Just try buying a modern bicycle with no research and see what you end up with.

Tugela

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #184 on: August 07, 2014, 02:23:30 PM »
Just try buying a modern bicycle with no research and see what you end up with.

A tricycle? With 3 wheels it must be an improvement over a bicycle!! ;)

dgatwood

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #185 on: August 07, 2014, 02:50:58 PM »
Cameras are not toothpaste.  The assumption that technology is even slightly similar to commodity goods is precisely what nearly caused...
The marketing strategy is what was being discussed.  Any business text or business person can explain to you why DSLRs and desktop computers and toothpaste are all mature technologies and mature markets today and what those terms mean.  These markets all exhibit saturation and incremental technological advances.  Reference the graphs I've posted on the DSLR market and the many articles referenced on these forums concerning saturation of the DSLR market.  If you don't know what these terms mean, and it is becoming clear that you probably don't, then look them up.

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.  Computers and cameras, by contrast, are not remotely interchangeable, which means that a majority of consumers will go out of their way to buy the specific product that they want, rather than simply settling for whatever is available.

There are two reasons for this:

First, both interchangeable-lens cameras and computers depend on an ecosystem.  If I'm running Windows, I can't just grab an iOS tablet and keep doing the same things I was doing before, because none of my software will run.  I can't swap out my 6D for a D810, because none of my lenses will work.  And so on.  There's a much higher barrier to a customer changing to a different manufacturer's products.  Making it harder to find your competitor's products might make a difference for first-time purchasers, but makes little difference for long-time users, because they can't feasibly change brands even if they wanted to.  So they'll find a way to keep getting the product via Amazon or other channels.  The only thing that commodity marketing tricks can do is increase the rate at which product sales move from brick-and-mortar stores to online.

Second, cameras and computers are differentiated by features.  There are fairly large differences between, for example, a 5D Mark III and an SL1.  People choose one camera over the other based on those features, not based on what happens to be available in the store at the time.  They go out of their way to special order cameras online if they can't get them locally, precisely because those features matter.  A lot.

Toothpaste, by contrast, isn't differentiated by feature, with the exception of children's toothpastes that are distinguished by the choice of cartoon character on the packaging.  And it isn't tied to any sort of ecosystem, so when someone finds their usual variety out of stock, they might try a different store, but if it stays out of stock, they'll try a different brand.  In other words, toothpaste sales are nothing at all like technology sales.  The marketing strategies that work for commodities like toothpaste or (to a lesser degree) Blu-Ray players simply don't work with computers or cameras.

And even in commodity tech areas like Blu-Ray players, there's a constant drive to differentiate the products from the competition so that people don't pick them like they pick toothpaste.  If you can make your product enough better than the competition, people will go out of their way to get your product, ecosystem or no.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 02:52:51 PM by dgatwood »

scottburgess

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #186 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.  :)

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #186 on: August 08, 2014, 12:00:14 AM »

fragilesi

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #187 on: August 08, 2014, 07:29:46 AM »

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.  :)

Next time I am writing a thesis on "The Art of Splitting Hairs" I think it will be invaluable  :)

And I know, we all get drawn into these kind of debates at times (well I do too at least), I'm not really dissing anything that's been said.  At least unlike some of the rather more surreal threads I've read recently this is still relatively polite!

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #188 on: August 08, 2014, 07:54:18 AM »
Just try buying a modern bicycle with no research and see what you end up with.

A tricycle? With 3 wheels it must be an improvement over a bicycle!! ;)

Bah  Unicycle.  2 wheels is soooo 20th century.  Clearly the technology has advanced to the point where the product should be smaller.
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dgatwood

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #189 on: August 08, 2014, 01:41:45 PM »
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. 

For the vast majority of purchasers, the purpose of toothpaste is to prevent cavities and gum disease.  To that end, all toothpastes work pretty similarly, and there's not a dime's worth of difference between them.  Yes, there are a few consumers who care about whether it has extra whitening ingredients, etc., but these users are in the tiny minority, similar to the number of consumers who care about whether a particular Blu-Ray player can also play streaming video from a particular website.  It's an attempt to create differentiation, but not a very significant one, at least for a typical consumer.

Or, as Wikipedia puts it, "There is a spectrum of commoditization, rather than a binary distinction of 'commodity versus differentiable product'. Few products have complete undifferentiability and hence fungibility; even electricity can be differentiated in the market based on its method of generation (e.g., fossil fuel, wind, solar), in markets where energy choice lets a buyer pay more for renewable methods if desired. Many products' degree of commodification depends on the buyer's mentality and means."

For most users, toothpaste is fungible.  DSLRs are not.  The strict definition of a commodity is nothing more than a good that is fully or partially fungible.  That's it.


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?

A basis grade is required if a commodity is traded on an exchange, but not all commodities are exchange-traded commodities (ETCs).  The mere existence of such a term should be ample proof of that fact.



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.

Then again, these are mostly the products that customers want to buy, and as mentioned, cameras aren't nearly as fungible as toothpaste.  :)


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.

But this strategy works a lot better for really cheap, non-differentiated goods than it does for products costing thousands of dollars.  When you get into that territory, most customers can't afford to make a mistake, so what ends up mattering the most is not what's on store shelves, but rather what gear they've seen other people using whose opinions they trust, and what those people say about those cameras.



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

Again, Your definition of commodity is way, way narrower than anything I've ever heard in any economics class.  It might be a correct definition in some specific usage (market trading, perhaps), but it is not the way that term is commonly used.

And yes, I know about brand loyalty.  The reason for that strong brand loyalty is twofold:

1.  The products are mostly undifferentiated, and even to the degree that they are differentiated, consumers have very little information about what would make one better than the other.  In the absence, therefore, of any solid reason to choose one brand over another, the vast majority of new consumers choose whatever brand their parents used, assuming it is easy to find.  Otherwise, they grab the first thing on the shelf, and they stick with it because they have no reason to change.

2.  Customers see their toothpaste decision as mostly an unimportant, non-intellectual choice, and don't want to waste time and mental energy on finding a different brand of something that is so cheap and whose differences are so largely irrelevant to their lives.

If a brand ceased to exist outright, people wouldn't stop brushing their teeth.  They would choose another brand.  Yes, consumers will try to find the brand elsewhere, will complain about its absence, and will put off purchasing toothpaste in the vain hope that they'll see it again, but at some point, they'll be forced to buy toothpaste, and they will buy whatever is available.  Very few people would pay the 100% markup that mail ordering toothpaste would entail (unless they have a more important reason to strongly prefer a particular kind of toothpaste).

And brand loyalty can also be broken by true differentiation.  It only binds consumers who see no other, more meaningful difference between two similar products than the name on the package.  When consumers read an article about some ingredient that significantly improves oral hygiene in some way (xylitol, for example), and when that ingredient is only found in specific brands, you'll see a fair percentage of those readers switch.  Indeed, the very fact that strong brand loyalty is possible clearly indicates that the goods are highly fungible and poorly differentiated, which makes those goods effectively a commodity in every meaningful sense of the word.


... 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.

The differences I've pointed out are most certainly not irrelevant.  You've said nothing that changes the fact that the more expensive the product, the more consumers will research their purchase, which eliminates the effects of brand loyalty and largely obviates the benefit of shelf presence.  Consumers research car purchases.  They research DSLR purchases.  They don't research their initial toothpaste purchase.

That's a very crucial difference, particularly in the presence of substantial vendor lock-in from incompatible camera systems.  Combine this with the fact that most users do care about a camera's features (unlike toothpaste, where statistically most users make their initial buying decision based on what their parents bought), and you have an entirely different kind of market.  The strategies that work in a small-ticket, highly commoditized market like toothpaste simply cannot work in a big-ticket, highly differentiated market like DSLRs, though many companies have tried it.

StudentOfLight

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #190 on: August 10, 2014, 05:44:39 PM »
Just try buying a modern bicycle with no research and see what you end up with.

A tricycle? With 3 wheels it must be an improvement over a bicycle!! ;)

Bah  Unicycle.  2 wheels is soooo 20th century.  Clearly the technology has advanced to the point where the product should be smaller.
I concur, we'll run production on unicycles until we run down stock of the old sprocket-and-chains. When unicycles become the norm we can reintroduce the "retro-cool" bicycle targeting the discerning hipster crowd
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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #191 on: August 10, 2014, 09:48:23 PM »
Just try buying a modern bicycle with no research and see what you end up with.

A tricycle? With 3 wheels it must be an improvement over a bicycle!! ;)

Bah  Unicycle.  2 wheels is soooo 20th century.  Clearly the technology has advanced to the point where the product should be smaller.
I concur, we'll run production on unicycles until we run down stock of the old sprocket-and-chains. When unicycles become the norm we can reintroduce the "retro-cool" bicycle targeting the discerning hipster crowd
Yea, unicycles, unicorns and Canon will make a big splash this year  ;D

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #192 on: August 10, 2014, 10:47:34 PM »
Umm...toothpaste? That's where this conversation went? Seriously....?  :o
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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #192 on: August 10, 2014, 10:47:34 PM »

Orangutan

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #193 on: August 11, 2014, 12:12:04 AM »
Umm...toothpaste? That's where this conversation went? Seriously....?  :o

Is there some variant of Godwin's Law that applies to toothpaste?   8)

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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #194 on: August 11, 2014, 12:23:22 AM »
Umm...toothpaste? That's where this conversation went? Seriously....?  :o

Is there some variant of Godwin's Law that applies to toothpaste?   8)

Haha, maybe! :D We could call it Orangutan's Law, if no one else has coined it yet. :P
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Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« Reply #194 on: August 11, 2014, 12:23:22 AM »