By Claire Reilly
2012 is a special year for Canon as it celebrates 75 years of history as a camera manufacturer and 25 years of its dedicated EOS sub-brand. Current.com.au spoke to Canon’s corporate communications manager Andrew Giles about the special milestone, and what it means to be a long-standing name in the consumer electronics industry.
“In terms of what Canon’s about, it’s always been about being the best,” said Giles. “From building the best camera in 1937, that’s still true for us today – we’re number one in terms of our quality, and quality is also the number one motivator for consumers.
“What we’re seeing in 2012 is that with 75 years behind us, we’re looking ahead with all these great new products that redefine the market,” he added. “We’ve had some great momentum from the end of last year to the beginning of this year.”
While Giles said the company was diversifying, he said that Canon was still “staying really true” to what it stands for as a brand: “the highest quality optics and imaging devices that allow people to achieve their outcomes”. But when it comes to selling Canon on the shopfloor, Giles said it was important that retailers and suppliers both work to truly understand what the consumer wants to achieve.
“What we’re trying to do as a brand or a company is to move away from a technology base to marketing, more to a brand approach to marketing, which is very much focused on the consumer and what they want to do,” he said.
“A message to retailers would be that ‘seeing is believing’ when you’re in the store. I think there’s a real opportunity to demonstrate products.
“It’s about talking to consumers in words that relate to them and what they want to achieve. I think that in this industry, the more we work towards the consumer – listen first, find out what they want to achieve, and then help them achieve that – it’s a great thing for all of us, because then that leads to upsell opportunities and upgrades for quality.
“If we focus on what the consumer’s objectives are, together we can work towards that. And to be honest, it’s about adding value to both the consumer and the industry.”
While Canon will be taking to Facebook to promote its 25th anniversary of EOS with a photo competition, the main aim for the company is promoting a much broader message.
“To be honest, what we’re trying to do with platforms like [Facebook] is actually get people excited about imaging, and get people excited about Canon,” he said. “So providing them with great experiences, making them aware of the Canon brand and what it stands for, and then encouraging them to go instore to take those conversations further.
“We’re very much about growing the category. The more we can say ‘Hey look what’s possible with a Canon’, we can get people interested in imaging, and those conversations can then play out at the retailer.”