India Is A High-priority, High-growth Market For Us: Manabu Yamazaki, Canon

In 2024, we aim to continue to be at the epicentre of innovation and solidify our industry leadership as a futuristic and innovative technology brand, he asserts

The past few decades have witnessed significant shifts in the imaging industry, owing to technological innovations, changes in consumer preferences, and increases in market density. In terms of the consumer landscape, content creation and the consumption of videos have risen tremendously among consumers and continue to show an uptick, propelling novel dynamics in the larger ecosystem. 

Among the plethora of brands thriving in the imaging industry, Canon is a name that has maintained a resilient and sustainable position, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to excellence and enduring impact on the industry.

Manabu Yamazaki, president and CEO, Canon India, an industry veteran associated with the brand for over three decades, believes that the brand's strategic approach, commitment to technological innovation, and collaborations with industry professionals have solidified its position as a key player in meeting the demands of the rapidly expanding digital content landscape. "Overall, the transformation has dictated our efforts in delivering quality product offerings to the vast customer base we operate in, thereby revolutionising experiences and upholding our legacy as a total hardware and software solutions provider," he asserts.

Catering To A Heterogeneous Consumer Base

Canon enjoys a wide gamut of customers, including students, small enterprises, large enterprises, the government, wildlife enthusiasts, wedding companies, etc. To serve them, it places a strong emphasis on understanding the unique needs of every segment, with a targeted communication strategy based on customer-centricity, right from customising campaigns to products that align with individual preferences.

The most common pattern of change across segments in recent years, according to Yamazaki, has been that of consumers embracing technology that adds convenience and value to their lives. "If we look closer at each segment, printing has evolved significantly post the rise in hybrid working. On the other hand, SMEs, start-ups, and enterprises too have adopted digital technologies and automation at a high rate now to stay competitive in today’s competitive landscape," he shares.

This shift has created a high demand for document management systems, cybersecurity offerings, and office automation solutions. On the consumer front, the creator economy has been booming, and the brand is empowering this community with pocketable cameras.

Along with this, shifts in content consumption patterns have led to substantial growth in the OTT segment and, with that, Canon's cinematography range of products. "These products are designed to empower filmmakers with technologies that align seamlessly with their unique storytelling narratives. Further, we closely work with and engage with industry stalwarts and filmmakers like Santosh Sivan, Jeff Goldberg, Vijay, and Ajay Bedi as part of our EOS Ambassador Programme," he mentions. By leveraging the expertise of their ambassadors, Canon actively cultivates a community that shares insights, and fosters skill development and creativity.

Convenience At Core

With tech advancements growing at an incessant pace, it has become imperative to ensure that consumers are not just aware of the right products and solutions but also understand what products suit their requirements best. While these consumers have emerged as highly discerning, well-informed, and making conscious purchase decisions, Canon marches in such a way that the requirements and convenience of its consumers are at the centre of its business by providing transparent and easily accessible information.

"Our commitment extends beyond product promotion to ensure that consumers not only have access to accurate details but also understand the functionality of our many offerings across segments. Experiencing a product before making huge investments in technology is crucial, especially for businesses," mentions Yamazaki.

The brand is continuously building touchpoints through its customer connect initiatives, regional outreach, and participation in key industry events to ensure that its expansive product portfolio can be experienced by a large audience. It also leverages various digital channels, including websites and shares snackable educational content on social platforms.

Deeper Inroads In Indian Market

In recent years, Tier II and Tier III markets have shown immense potential for Canon's B2B business, especially among the printing industry, SMEs, jobbers, and start-ups. For robust penetration in these areas, Canon ensures concerted efforts to engage with this set of customers through on-ground activations, and industry and partner events, strengthening their overall channel partner network.

Yamazaki reiterates that the brand's topmost priority is to deliver value to its customers, and this reflects well in its ability to balance innovation with tradition, staying true to its core values while embracing new opportunities in the ever-evolving media landscape. "Thus, our approach involves a nuanced strategy that addresses the distinct needs of each consumer segment. For business engagements, we have a focused integrated marketing approach that includes strengthening connections through ground-level interactions with partners and enterprises, as well as strengthening connections with the digital audience. We participate in industry events, workshops, and collaborative initiatives, creating a robust network and facilitating direct engagement with key stakeholders. We also execute comprehensive digital campaigns comprising engaging use-case videos and informative infographics for our surveillance and enterprise products and solutions," he explains.

Parallelly, its B2C strategy is multifaceted, emphasising engaging campaigns, product-centric initiatives, and an active online presence, thereby devising a comprehensive marketing strategy, including online and offline events. 

Overall, adhering to its philosophy of ‘Gemba’, which is Canon's constant endeavour to engage with customers on-ground, it regularly participates in key industry events that underscore its commitment to showcasing technological prowess. 

As India continues to be a high-priority and high-growth market for Canon, it is focused on becoming the fastest-growing sales company amongst all groups with a quality-first approach across pillars. "In 2024, we aim to continue to be at the epicentre of innovation and solidify our industry leadership as a futuristic and innovative technology brand, with ‘Henkaku’ (Japanese for transformation) as our core mission," expresses Yamazaki.

The brand further aims to expand its existing business propositions, create new business avenues, continue to go above and beyond to create meaningful experientials for the new-age informed customer, and enhance reach across the length and breadth of the country.

Tags assigned to this article: