The 2011/12/29 at 13:06
Almost a centenarian, the company Nikon has been specialised in optics ever since its inception. Still today, it divides its activities between photography, microscopy and steppers. Its photographic activity nevertheless dominates, representing 60 % of its turnover, which in 2010, came to 785 million yen (7.73 million euros) on a global level. Following a first quarter marked by events in Japan, supply problems and a drop in demand, the French camera market expected to “catch up” at the end of the year (1).
Finally, in the absence of a rebound, a 7 % decline in turnover was observed at the start of the new academic year in September, while the floods in Thailand did nothing to help the situation of Nikon: one of its factories, entirely flooded, had to cease production, preventing the brand from delivering reflex cameras ordered by its distributors. Nevertheless, Nikon recorded a satisfactory volume of sales. “We were number one in October in terms of volume and total market value,” specifies Emmanuelle Beccari, BtoB Key Accounts Manager at Nikon France. In addition, the sale of new hybrid cameras (combining the advantages of compact devices and interchangeable lenses) is promising, even if volumes anticipated will not make up for the loss of reflex camera orders.
Unlike reflexes, whose target clientele remains male-dominated, compact cameras with interchangeable lenses perfectly meet widespread consumer demand for increased quality and simplicity. While the big brands specialising in electronics and multimedia have already launched cameras of this kind, Nikon’s entrance of the market constitutes a small revolution. Quick, compact, ultra-precise and extremely intuitive while offering a high-quality result, the Nikon 1 meets needs for instantaneity and quality sought after by users. “The Nikon 1 is based on Nikon savoir-faire tested for more than 50 years,” observes Emmanuelle Beccari. In this way, while a “basic” usage of these devices is possible, interchangeable lenses as well as the addition of new photo functions including the optimised Smart Photo Selector, the Motion Snapshot or full HD movie modes, offer photography enthusiasts a palette of original solutions.
While concentrating on its BtoC activity, Nikon has, since 2009, been developing its BtoB activity with the creation of a unit dedicated to this market. On this market, business gifts occupy a significant spot. “The gift vehicles the corporate image,” states Emmanuelle Beccari. While edible gifts still dominate, the hi-tech segment is gaining more and more prominence. And in this segment, the camera is in the spotlight. Whether it is a gift to win clients, to thank clients for their loyalty, or to reward employees, the impact of a business gift on corporate image is far from negligible. But the business gift is subject to specific rules, namely due to restrictive legislation on fringe benefits. “For employee gifts, companies tend to favour gift vouchers subject to less strict rules,” remarks Emmanuelle Beccari.
A 65-euro (including tax) limit within which “companies are allowed to recuperate VAT” is set for business gifts. With its wide range of cameras, Nikon is able to offer business gifts fulfilling these legal requirements. The COOLPIX L23, a small compact camera, retailing at 69 euros (including tax, but available at under 65 euros including tax in the context of a business gift), corresponds perfectly to client expectations. This model is frequently offered for the special price of 1 euro to thank clients for their purchases. The Reflex D3100, an entrance-level but high-quality digital reflex camera, is perfectly adapted as an incentive gift for employees. To enhance the promotion of its cameras as business gifts, Nikon, which works with specialised resellers on this market, intends to prospect and communicate directly with companies on the basis of the quality of its products and renown.
(1) Source: GfK firm survey on the equipment goods market, August 2011.