Nikon is set to re-launch their brand in Australia, with a major multimillion dollar marketing campaign, featuring Robbie Williams. The Japanese Company is also introducing several new digital cameras’ ranging in price from $99 to $2,000.
The preferred brand of professional photographers Nikon has used British creative teams to produce a powerful marketing program, called “I am Nikon” and “My Nikon Life” which communicates what the average person, who wants to capture moments like weddings, children growing up and spectacular scenery, can achieve using a Nikon camera.
The move to re-launch and re position the brand in Australia follows a decision by Nikon Japan, to take over the distribution of their products in Australia from Maxwell Optics their former distributor.
After appointing several new senior managers, which included marketing manager Nick Segger, the former product marketing manager of the Microsoft, Xbox 360, Nikon Australia, then commenced a program to expand their retailer base to include mass retailers like Dick Smith, Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi and Big W.
In the past, the Nikon range had primarily been sold via specialist camera stores. The restore has paid off with Nikon now holding 27% value share of the Australian camera market.
According to Segger the Company is chasing “value and profitability” however he does admit that in the future the camera category could come under pressure from parallel importers who are offering retailers branded camera’s such as Nikon. Panasonic and Canon at prices cheaper than what local subsidiaries are selling the same camera for.
“It’s a tough market out there however, we are confident that our new campaign coupled with a new product line-up will allow us to grow market share. We have a lot of advantages over our competitors, because we are solely a camera and optics Company who is able to deliver leading edge digital camera across both our budget digital camera range and our high end SLR range” he said.
Segger said that the relaunch of the Nikon brand in Australia which kicks off on the 25th of March, which is the same day that Apple launch their new iPad 2, had been in the planning stages for over 12 months and that a combination of new TV, online, social media and print marketing was set to be unleashed coupled with extensive in-store market.
Segger said “The broadening of our distribution in Australia has helped us to grow market share and our new campaign should give us even further growth while establishing the Nikon brand as the preeminent camera brand in Australia. We are a camera company not a consumer electronics Company who has moved into the camera market to grab a few sales leveraging someone else’s camera technology.”
“Nikon has leading edge camera technology which is why professionals use our cameras. The glass you get in our budget range and our top end digital SLR range is designed to deliver crystal clear images. We have the best camera in the world and what we are now doing is getting this message out there”.
“The proof of our quality is seen when people use a Nikon camera, even in our new Coolpix range which starts at $99. The camera industry is an extremely emotive industry we sell a mean by which people capture emotion whether it be, a wedding, a child birth, children growing up or a sporting event or concert. What we are building into a Nikon camera today is the ability to shoot both HD Video and extremely high quality still images”.
When questioned about the fragile state of the retail market and the emergence of parallel importers Segger acknowledge that one of the big advantages for retailers was that local subsidiaries like Nikon provided extensive marketing and Co-op dollars to retailers that drive traffic into stores.
This is marketing support that is not available from a parallel importer.
“We are aware of the parallel importing issues and we are trying to track where some of these cameras are coming from” said Segger.