Heavy Q4 Promotions
Waiting In The Wings?
By TWICE Staff On Aug 22 2011 - 4:01am
TWICE: NPD numbers for Mother’s Day this year
showed sluggish sales for the d-SLR category, yet
sales really took off around Father’s Day. Is that
saying something about the role of the female demographic?
Was that just an anomaly?
Liz Cutting, NPD:
I believe that was more than
just than anomaly, as David mentioned.
David Lee, Nikon:
It was supply.
Yeah, we saw it in April and in May.
Mother’s Day numbers for d-SLRs are higher than on Father’s Day. You see that year on year on year, and I’d bet that
would have continued had we not had the supply problems that we saw. I don’t
think that that’s showing us anything but the impact of the unfortunate situation
[Great Japan Earthquake and Tsunami].
Mark Sherengo, Pentax:
It was also due to the lack of promotion during that
period. We were all at fault. Mother’s Day probably had the worst promotion I
think I’ve ever seen compared to years past.
TWICE: Does that mean we are in for an avalanche of ads and promotions
later this year?
Well, we will continue to be No. 1 on national television with our Ashton
Kutcher campaign, so it helps us drive our brand in connection with him.
But I think more importantly, we will continue to look at the marketplace and try
to continue to drive that value proposition. We still have a roller coaster economy.
You have to stay promotional. I don’t think it’s a position of whether we want to
— we have to.
Stefan Guelpen, Panasonic:
Because of the uncertainties in the first quarter,
we were not as active on TV as we planned to be, so most of it has shifted
to the back half of the year. We anticipate being very competitive. We see particularly
the lower-tier supply being extremely aggressive on pricing, and that will
I also think that a lot of companies will try to make up for
lost sales that they have seen in the first quarter. So I think the
consumers will see some great values in the fourth quarter.
Peter Ewen, Olympus:
The big plan is for the fourth quarter.
That is when you see us in print in a much more aggressive
way than we have been lately. So we’re gearing up for a
very positive fourth quarter with a brand-new product that so far has been very
We work on our promotions to put ourselves in a category that
we have been in the past. For example, lens rebates haven’t been something we
participated in, while the big two have always trained their consumers when to
buy. So we’ll start the back half to add to our developer lenses. I think that the Q
[compact-system camera] will be something we promote very heavily.
We’re going to try to promote on mobile devices. We’re looking at a new category.
We did social networking last year, which really helps, because we are
going to have a lot of mobile device content that will reach a certain number of
audiences that have the information in their hands. They read everything in their
hand or their tablets. So, that’s one of the areas we’re looking at. And we’re
hoping that with infused energy back into the brand [through the recent Ricoh
acquisition] maybe not Q4, but moving forward to the next year, we will have a
major presence in the market again.
What is interesting is brand is becoming more important for cameras
as time goes on. Price is always No. 1 and whatever the new features offer, and
brand is becoming more and more important. We were certainly seeing consolidation
within the marketplace.
I don’t think there’s anything you can ignore. People are
looking at product reviews both on the retail sites as well as
on the manufacturer sites and consumer reviews, etc.
The reason why Canon and Nikon are so successful
is because of their ability to offer so many lenses. The
mirrorless category brings a new opportunity to build a lens selection. The lens
offerings in the photo specialty channel will help show customers that this is a
lifestyle and each lens plays an important part in it. I think that’s the value of a
brand that has become so important. In photo specialty, they beg us to get our
lens production back.
So I think if you are going to play in the d-SLR market and not offer the lenses,
it’s going to be a difficult, difficult journey. That’s where the battle is being won
at the counter.