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Case Study: How Canon carved a new market segment

Category: Cameras

Brand custodian: Maggie Wong, director and general manager, Canon Hong Kong

The problem

Treated by the user-friendly photo shooting function, the quick rise of Smartphone eclipses the development of digital camera market.

“Consumers’ preference and behaviours have shifted. They now prefer Smartphone for capturing snapshots at the expense of digital cameras,” Wong says.

The mid to low-range DC market has been increasingly competitive, she says, due to the rising smartphone dominance.

“Demand has been dropping mainly due to the threat from the more user-friendly photo function from Smartphone. The whole DC market size is shrinking.”

The objective

Canon looks to develop a new market with kids segment for the model IXUS and to become the first optical maker to extend its franchise into kids segment.

“In Canon, we always carve out new market in order to stay competitive. For example, we explored the realm in female photo shooting culture with a series of TV commercials a few years ago when taking photo were still percept as man activity. Then last year we started to open up a new market targeting parent-to-be, as youth segment is quite saturated. The results were proven successful,” explains Wong.

Kids segment is an under-developed market, Wong says. Throughout the past year Canon is trying to extend its target segment from parent-to-be to parent with kids, targeting mainly 5-9 years old and their parents.

“We noticed that parents are more willing to buy DC for their kids than Smartphone for its pure use of photography function. Kids photography is an untapped segment in DC market that our competitors haven’t explored yet.”

The strategy

Phase one – raise awareness on kids photography in a soft approach

The first phase is all about opening up the target segment by provoking kid’s interest and passion on photography. To do so, Canon adopts an engagement journey to foster the kids photography culture in Hong Kong, spanning varies media and platform. It kicks off with a kids photo competition targeting parents and kids.

Dubbed Kidictionary, the three months contest asks participants to interoperate an ordinary word in a creative way through photography, and then to share online and social media.

“Many parents nowadays like to share photos of the life of their kids on Facebook. The contest does not only aims to provoke kid’s interest in photography, but also awaken parent’s interest through parent-child interactive activity.”

In order to drive better engagement, the company plants the seed via key opinion bloggers and online advertising to draw eyeballs. The competition updates were also sync with Facebook to create viral effect. Other than that, free photography related content were also provided on the campaign site to induce revisit.

“Hard selling no longer could be relied upon to deliver brand message. To open up a new market we need to adopt a soft approach. This is critical especially in the introduction phase.”

Phase two – Further implanting the idea of photography into kids mind in-depth

Targeting middle income families, the second phase aims to tight the brand closer to its target customers with an eight episode TV programme “Canon IXUS Kids Snapping” on Now TV and RoadShow, teaching audiences some tricks of photographing.

“Referencing on the success of the popular Now TV series ‘Jr chef corner’, our TV programme hooks with our target customers easily as they tend to be excited about participating in the TV show and seeing themselves on television.”

Apart from TV programme, the campaign has also pulled in some in-school workshops and photography courses to provoke the kids interest in photography.

“Opening a whole new segment is not of a short term task but a long journey. The purpose of all the efforts on this stage is to create a culture of kids photography, planting a seed for a long-tail business opportunity.”

The Result

The campaign website has pulled in 3,559 (64.3% ) new visitors and 1,976 (35.7%) returning visitors. In total, the site recorded 5,535 visitors per month and over 180 per day. Total submission on the “Kidictionary” has reached 344 and 348 users.

The campaign has also gained 40% market share on low-end DC compared to last year (according to GfK index ended October).

“The campaign has sufficiently achieved our key objectives of expanding our target market, building engagement with our new target segment of parents and kids,” Wong concludes and adds phase three next year will be more product-oriented.

Credit

Campaign: Canon Kidictionary

Client: Maggie Wong, director and general manager of Canon Hong Kong and the marketing department

Media: Mindshare Hong Kong

Creative agency: Draftfcb Hong Kong

Creative director: Iris Lo, Joseph Mok, Law Chi Hang

Writer: Daat Lai, Law Chi Hang

Art Driector: Arthur Tse, Wing Tsang,Tonkie Chan,Joseph Mok

Client Service: Daniel Chan,CY Kwan, Ivan Choi

Designer: Curiousfew

Illustrator: Lio Yeung, Jacky Tong

Photographer: Karon (R Workshop)

Typographer:Wing Tsang, Tonkie Chan

Print Production: Bill Lam

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