Venkatasubramanian Hariharan, B2C Business Unit Director, Canon Middle East, on the company’s new brand campaign and what an effective storytelling means
Canon’s new brand proposition – ‘Live For The story’ – aims to shift the perception of the company among a younger audience. Why are you targeting the younger generation, who are mobile-phone and selfie-obsessed?
People all over the world are becoming more passionate about communicating through powerful images and videos. There has never been a more exciting time to be an imaging company.
The popularity of photography has been aided by the proliferation of smartphones, which have fast become established as the default ‘entry-level’ camera for capturing spontaneous moments in everyday life.
But when you’re trying to capture a special moment – a new-born baby, a holiday, significant family gatherings – people will always choose a high-quality imaging experience if it’s easily available.
There are many instances where people want the reassurance of a high-quality imaging experience, which our cameras can offer, but, more importantly, we give the user the confidence that they can capture the shot they want.
According to a report by YouthPolicy.org, more than 28 per cent of the MENA population is aged 15 to 29 – a total of 108 million individuals across 22 countries. We think almost all of them are consumed by taking photos and videos.
We exist to help people capture and remember their photos, but, with ‘Live For The Story’, we want to enable people to tell their stories through images whilst creating memories.
How are you planning to go ahead with this strategy?
While the new campaign is already being rolled out on Canon’s marketing and social media platforms, the company wants to roll out the wider, overall strategy by providing a holistic value proposition that fits the young generation.
At Canon, we recognise that good storytelling requires all manner of tools and skills, which is why we have expanded our offering beyond cameras and printers, to help people tell better stories, more easily, from end to end.
This takes all manner of forms, to suit any storytelling needs – from an app that makes it easy for you to do more with photos from your camera, to professional printed photobooks from your phone.
This is Canon’s ‘Live for The Story’ proposition that we are rolling out, highlighting the benefits of buying into a connected ecosystem of storytelling products and services.
Are camera phones making professional cameras redundant? If not, what’s the key brand value of a professional camera, as we know it?
The current boom in the popularity of photography has been driven predominantly by smartphones. The smartphone is here to stay; however, we see it as a gateway into photography. Though it has become established as the default ‘entry-level’ camera, there are many instances where people want the reassurance of a high-quality imaging experience.
Our camera range caters to all capability levels, but they all share one thing – they give the user the confidence that they can capture the shot they want. They offer advanced features, such as powerful optical zooms, superfast continuous shooting and superior low-light capabilities that deliver high-quality photos.
You cannot underestimate how important this quality is for customers and we’re merging it with integrated connectivity to enable easy sharing to offer consumers the best possible all-round imaging experience.
Ultimately, photos represent memories and people want to know they are not going to have any regrets about how they have preserved those memories in years to come. Here is where Canon comes in.
How is Canon exploring new tech areas such as IoT and wearables?
According to a report by Deloitte, 2.5 trillion photos were shared and stored globally online in 2016, and a whopping 7.4 trillion photos will be shared in 2017. The shifting marketplace presents huge opportunities for us and we believe that Canon should be connected to every image.
In the future, nearly everything will be connected through smart devices. These rely on built-in cameras or sensors and the data they generate. As a result, Canon predicts that the Internet of Things will largely depend on the ‘Imaging of Things’.
At Canon, we invest heavily in Research and Development in the aim to consistently innovate to meet people’s needs in the current, evolving world and seek to help them to explore the power of imaging, through delivering the richest and most innovative imaging products, solutions and services.
Canon provides a photo-management and a range of Cloud storage services to make it easier for people to manage and share their growing photo libraries.
How are Canon sales performing in the GCC? Is your marketing strategy paying off better than earlier and better than your competitors?
Canon is committed to its vision of enriching lives and businesses through imaging experiences, and playing a part in every single image taken in the future. All of our strategies will continue to echo this vision and brand ambition.
Our H1 performance in the region has been satisfactory and much better than our expectations. Clearly, our positioning and marketing strategy has kicked off to the right start and we see that we can leverage on our uniqueness of being the only imaging player with expertise from input to output.
We hold the number-one market share in many of our categories in the Middle East region. We also maintained our market share in all of the different categories, with Canon leading the market in most of the product categories.
The article appeared in the November 2017 issue of Gulf Marketing Review.