Canon Aims At Conquering Brand Land
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Simple advanced solutions freeing people to live their dreams and lead enriched lives at home and at work- that’s Canons vision statement- concise, to the point and clear. But just how this affects their marketing strategy only becomes apparent when looking at their relaunched Pixma printer.


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Canon Product Marketing Manager, David Goldman

When it comes to printers in general, the focus, not just of Canon, but that of all vendors in that space has changed dramatically. Where once they were all about selling the printer, these vendors changed to selling printing solutions- with the printer being merely an adjunct to that goal. Now, much like laptop makers, printer companies are repositioning their products and selling a concept or a lifestyle and not just a machine that prints on paper.

Canon of course is a master of this brand reinvention. Take their digital cameras for example- they are marketed as not just a machine that captures images- they are after all, a vehicle in transforming lives, almost like cosmetics, a path to a more positive future or so the marketing gurus would have us believe.

Getting back to the Pixma printer, Canon has recently relaunched, or should I say rebranded it as not just a solid piece of plastic and aluminium for ink transferral onto paper but rather a way of expressing ourselves and the way we interact with other human beings.

This is patently obvious when we look at their television campaign with the mother and her teenage ‘rock star’ son- the message one gets is that she is not using the printer just to transfer data onto cellulose, rather she is redefining and enriching her sons life by using the Pixma brand.

 

And insofar as the Pixma rebrand is concerned, the company’s national Group Product Marketing Manager, David Goldman says that, “there has been a shift from talking about printer features to that of building a brand and giving the consumer an emotional hook”.

As he points out, “its all part of our strategy in brand building”, which he notes the company is in “for the long term”.

Furthermore, he underlines that Canon views this strategy as a very Japanese one “we are in it for the long haul”, he notes, adding, “we are not some fly-by-night operation- we will be here for a long time to support both our products, consumers and our retail partners”- so brand reinvigoration for the company is obviously an important strategy, one that most probably will permeate all product categories sooner or later.
Canon itself admits that- in a statement it said, “This brand-focused approach is not only coming from Pixma, but it’s taking place across the board from Canon.  We launched Ixus last month, and this extends to other Canon categories such as PowerShot, Selphy, etc”.

 

It seems too, the company may be on a winner here. GfK figures note that Canon has increased its printer volume sales by some 30 per cent and Canon’s own research, according to Goldman, is that Canon for consumers is “most preferred brand” and “the most preferred brand consumers consider” when looking to buy new technology.

Furthermore says Goldman, these results are even more interesting when you consider that the average selling price of a Canon printer is up to $100 more than some other brands, and yet still he stresses “we are consistently in the top 10 selling brands in the country”.

This he notes is “a heritage we intend to build on”.
And as Goldman notes, this is all part of the company’s “tools in our armoury to maximise our connection with the consumer”. More than just branding it seems, this strategy is one of changing market perception.

So next time you want to buy a printer, remember its not just a piece of technology that gives you the option of putting ink onto paper that you are purchasing – it is as Canon’s vision statement intimates- a way of enriching the lives of you and your friends.

The humble printer certainly has come a long way and if companies like Canon and the David Goldmans of the world have their way, it may yet evolve some time again in the future.