A corporation can be dominant in an industry without demonstrating any real leadership. But everyone wins when a dominant company puts resources into growing the industry it is taking its profits from, and helps develop its retailer base.
In its better days, Kodak was a true industry leader. The photo hardware market leader in Australia, Canon, sinks millions of dollars into aspirational advertising and ‘below-the-line’ marketing to consumers – especially enthusiasts – as well as supplying high-quality POS, and retailer training with programs such as Canon Connect. It also demonstrates corporate responsibility via a range of support programs and environmental grants. And it even has an Australian-based research facility, CISRA. In my observation, people are proud to work at Canon. That’s leadership.
I think it would be fair to say that Fujifilm Australia has a different focus, and in the area of support for its specialist customers in particular, hasn’t shown a lot of interest of late. (Although to be fair, Fujifilm recently sponsored the PMA Future Leaders program.)
So it was with some surprise and a little delight that I stumbled upon the Fujifilm USA Business Bullders website. It appears that Fujifilm USA doesn’t see specialist retailers as an irrelevance heading towards extinction, but something to be valued and developed! It seems to see its future and their future as somehow connected. As demonstrated by their actions and words, Fujifilm USA and Fujifilm Australia seem to have come to unusually disconnected conclusions about the place of the specialist retailer in future of the photo industry.
The smart-looking Business Builders website – in which PMA also plays a role – appears to me to be an extremely valuable resource for any photo specialist retailer anywhere in the world! (My only problem being I’m not actually a photo retailer.) It includes: regular, well-written and unusually useful articles on business building topics; monthly educational webinars on technical and marketing topics (Wet Vs Dry, etc); research insights into market trends and shifts; financial tools such as ROI calculators to evaluate business investments; and special promotions for Fujifilm USA customers.
Much of this material is eminently applicable to the Australian scene. It’s all free and all readily available! Registering is a simple matter, Fuji customer or not. It’s ‘open to current Fujifilm business partners and to businesses that specialise in the printing of photos and photo specialty items.’
– So visit Fujifilm USA Business Builders without delay! It may well be worth making a quick copy of articles that could be useful for future reference. Web content can be so ephemeral.
– Keith Shipton