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Olympus is one of the leading manufacturers of Imaging equipment of which Digital camerars form the major chunk of their business goals and revenue. Founded in Japan in 1919, it has more than 90 years of technological experience of invention & innovation in the camera related product development. The Slogan of Olympus is “Your Vision, Our Future”.
Olympus is innovative and original – they have many firsts in the name when it comes to camera related products , also led the way in producing lightweight compact cameras , A number of patent in America and Japan registered by Olympus and the hugh list of these Intellectual property under their belt helps them to secure their investments in R&D which is the have always been the core focus of Olympus.
Olympus is currently positioned as the world’s fourth-largest maker of high-end cameras
1.0 Executive Summary
Olympus entered into Imaging Opto-Digital Technology in the year of 2004 and since then have managed to place itself as one among the top brand in the Digital cameera market.
As a part of Olympus Corporation’s Campaign for growth, the goal is to change the marketing strategies to be viewed as a leader world wide in digital camera by continuously improving and innovating their Digital camera product so as to increase the sales volumes from current financial year.
Current year-to-date, Olympus experienced a loss in sales in their Digital-camera product line at rate of 22.5% year on year which amounts to US $ 1,765 million.
Since, from some years Olympus corporations Digital-camera segment are facing losses in sales. This is due to many competitor in the market and the decrease in value of Yen and Dollor the main currency for Olympus as the major market of Olympus was USA and Japan and also because of the fact that the digital camera Market has overpassed it’s maturity phase and entered the decline stage.
Decrease in Digital-cameras product can be ascertain on increase in picture clearity interms of Resolutions, capability, compactness and easy of use of the inbuilt cameras shipped with latest mobiles, increase in competition from establised brands in digital camera segmant, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates and stagnant economical conditions.
With the proposed strategies, the plan is to increase Olympus digital-camera market share and revenues,Although Olympus main root was established In Japan and have made strong hold in USA the proposed strategy is to increase it’s brand state in new markets like Europe, India and China. The Slogan of Olympus is “Your Vision, Our Future” ,Based on this corporate slogan,To help revamp the Olympus digital-camera brand image and growth proposed strategy is built around ongoing cost reduction efforts , pursuing innovation and marketing strategy of new interchangeable lens type digital camera where all stakeholders, including shareholders, clients and employees, are proud of the Olympus brand.
Olympus Management have put inline 2010 Corporate Strategic Plan (“2010 CSP”) a new medium-term plan starting this year that will cover the five-year fiscal period ending March 2015, the targets for fiscal period ending March 2015, are net sales of ¥1.5 trillion and operating income of ¥150 billion. These figures are about 1.7 times and 2.5 times higher than the results for fiscal period ended March 2010, respectively.
In light of these proposed strategies that includes cost reduction and marketing activities for interchangeable lens type digital camera ,based on these initiatives , net sales and operating income is expected to be in range of Yen 195 billion and Yen 6 billion by ending March 31 ,2011.
2.0 Situation Analysis
In last couple of years due to the fluctation in exchange of foreign currency and due to global business and financial unstability around the globe, digital camera sales were down by 9 percent in September 2009 compared to the same month last year. According to sources, Digital camera sales were down about 17 percent in August 2009 compared to the prior year, as well. Year-to-date sales in September of 2009 year were down 13 percent whereas they were up 4 percent in September 2008.
The current market situation for the digital camera industry looks promising. In the Last two quarters of 2010 data has shown that the digital camera industry is on the rise as compared to the decline in sales for the year 2009, howver the sales of Olympus digital camera still had a decline growth rate of -17.9% around the globle.
2.2 Product Situation.
The Imaging System Business of Olympus is centered on digital cameras, voice recorders and optical components. Olympus is current the 4th top brand in the globe interms of sales.
The First Quarter results for 2010 sales of digital camera decreased on a year to year to US$ 1,765 million that is sales declined by 17.9%. However based on proposed strategies the forecast for March 2011, net sales and operating income is expected to be in range of Yen 195 billion and Yen 6 billion.
2.3 Competitive Situation.
The top digital camera makers worldwide are Canon, Fujifilm, Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, Nikon, Olympus, and Sony. However in the mirrorless niche market many leading manufactures strive to get a share in the uprising market. Olympus in this niche market is leading with 70% of market share in the mirrorless camera in Australia, As mentioned, even though Olympus is the leader in the digital camera market in next generation technology of DSLR and mirrorless digital camera , overall it is significantly trailing by competitors in the digital camera industry. This may also be due to the fact that competitors such as kodak, Sony and Nikkon, Canon have invested in R&D in latest technology and have or are planning to release their product in mirrorless and DSLR technology by end of this year.
2.4 Distribution Situation
The distribution channels for Olympus product include distributors, retailers, wholesalers and agents.
Olympus have exlcusive stores and olympus zones where in USA,Japan,India and china.
The main distribution channels of olympus are as follows:
Convenience stores : Local mini stores.
Olympus Official websites includes regionwise websites upholding regional information and one for global information.
Online retailers: ebay.com, amazon.com, Argos.
3.0 SWOT Analysis
S.W.O.T. identifies a firm’s strengths, weaknesses, its opportunities and threats. S.W.O.T helps identify criterias to get a competitive advantage.
Strengths and weaknesses are Internal [community] specific Parameters [covering both assets and deficits], stakeholders in the Internal attributes (including
policymakers, legislators, educators, businesses and others) can influence strengths and weaknesses, even if they do not absolutely control them
On a whole strengths should be pursued or marketed (eg, advertised), while weaknesses are reversed,eliminated or minimized.
Olympus have large number of patent registered in USA and Japan related with Digital-camera and lens technology, outcome of their keen interest and huge Investments in Research and Developement. Olympus was first to introduce the mirrorless line of digital cameras and covers large market share in the DSLR and Mirrorless segment, while all other major camera makers are working on it, to target, SLR users.
Cost reduction policies in place since 2005.
Smaller, lighter: Olympus has been the pioneer behind a number of technological and design Innovation that are long lasting technology based on dust reduction ,waterproof , shockproof, eye catchy have sleek, stylish bodies and suitable to tastes and trend following of current Generation of ‘Everything Good comes in small packages’ base beyond their pocket digital camera and the point and shoot technology for beginners..
The Olympus once again set glory by picking up two impressive honours at the EISA with E-P1 branded as the best European Camera, awards such as EISA confirms and strengthens consumer’s confidence on Olympus brand in digital camera segment.
Fom past couple of years Olympus digital camera sales have decreased.
Global financial , economical Stability and fluctuation in exchange rates have been one of the main reasons for decline in profits of the olympus camera product , if the same downfall trend of global market continues, it will be directly affecting Olympus digital camera products profitability.
In the SLR camera market olympus never managed to get top market share , while in DSLR and mirrorless market olympus have large market share , however established competetors have managed to make a dent in that segment with their new product line matching Olympus digital camera product line.
Olympus management are very keen on getting back their foothold in the digital camera market and for same have opened shops in new markets like Europe, China and India out of their traditional USA and Japanese market, opening up in China and India have shown future prospects for China and India have the largest middle class population and huge number of urbanbased consumers and have managed to ride over Global economical turmoil.
Olympus to establish their brand in every household are not just concentrating on increasing sales but also on after service to increase their brand fan following , they have plans to increase their service centres from 14 to 17 in India and likewise in China.
Olympus is expecting to double it’s sales in the Indian market for 2010 by launching 12 different models, Olympus have moderately priced their models for the new market to attrack the price conscious middle class first time buyers.
Olympus have models that are pre-loaded with In-Camera editing without the need for computers besides Olympus models in the market attrack buyers interested in add-on featurs like Built-in image stabiliser , Face Detection Technology and wireless flash control.
Olympus face threat of a market with many competitors some, like canon, sony, Kodak, Nikkon which are Corporate giants. Olympus must also keep up with rapidly changing technology else competitors will take away the larger market share interms of Sales , hence huge investment in R&D is must.
Competitors have other add-on features which sell as ‘ease to use’ and ‘wireless based setup’ like kodak ,canon and Nikon have models which supports wireless technology which allows users to connect to any computer on a network for instant downloading and printing of images without needing to wire connect to the system.
4.0 Marketing and Financial Objectives.
In the year 2010 , Olympus Corporation’s Management came out with Corporate Strategic Plan which is up for 5 years ending 2015 and the management slogan under CSP is ‘Advancing to next stage of Globalization.
The CSP plan aims at achieving growth in next 3 years,the aim is to reach target sales of Japanese Yen 1.5 trillion and operating income of Japanese Yen of 150 billion by fiscal year 2015.
To achieve this CSP 2010-2015 have budget for R&D and to increase awareness of Olympus as a brand in new market and to promote their feature and technologically superior digital camera with the existing market through promotional strategies using every possible medium mainly the TV and Internet medium.
5.0 Primary Market Research
5.1 Research Objectives
Our primary research objective was to determine the consumer perception on Olympus Digital Camera in both existing and new markets like China and India.
We wanted to get members feed back on wheather.
1) brand familiarity of Olympus digital camera product line.
2) Is Olympus digital cameras price competitive for the inbuilt features.
3) Do you perceive Olympus digital cameras as the better product ?
4) As a consumers will you favour established brand over price and better feature.
5) are Olympus products a convenient buy?
We used online survey on networking sites like facebook and orkut on digital camera communities to get the first hand pulse of the consumers both existing and first time buyers.
Besides going through user and comments of first time buyers made on digital camera discussion forums and blogs.
Through our market research of the current and future market of the digital camera industry and vote count of polls on networking sites
we can frame that
1) Consumers in new growing markets like India are aware of Olympus digital camera brand.
2) there is strong Olympus brand familiarity in existing market like USA and Japan.
3) Olympus is not perceived as being a costly product.
4) Olumpus digital cameras is respected as a the better quality product.
5) Olympus digital products are a convenient buy.
We conducted our research by emailing out the survey/poll links created on Networking webistes like Orkut and links on facebook on digital camera related communities numbering in thousands besides students, friends, and family.
5.3 Indications and Analysis
6.0 Secondary Market Research
We looked at trends based on comments and searches made by first time buyers doing market research, searching for digital cameras and Olympus is still one among the top 10 most searched digital camera brands based on latest trends list.
We also looked at Websites which act as buying guides based on 6.1) On Product rating with following parameters
a) user friendliness. b) Image Quality.
6.2 On Opinions and reviews from digital camera owners on their experience with the product and most olympus digital camera owners have been very positive specially on after sales service. Digital Cameras Side-by-Side
7.0 Marketing Strategy.
7.1 Target Market.
Olympus digital camera productline includes models for all kind of users ; casual users[hobbyist photographer] , regular users, professional and the price conscious first time buyers. The proposed strategies are to target all the categories of buyers, Olympus have strong productline on SLR, DSLR and compact sleak pocket cameras, through the measures on the long term 5 year plan , the business is expected to break even in 3 years time and expected to generate net sales and operating income in range of Yen 195 billion and Yen 6 billion.
The marketing-mix strategies for the Olympus digital cameras for the target segment mentioned above are as follows:
Consumers in the digital camera segment look for quality pictures, innovative technology, convenient use, user friendliness, customization, affordability, accessibility, versatility, and durability. Olympus corporation right from it’s inception have kept their digital camer productline based on innovative, high quality digital cameras. The proposed strategy is to strive to maintain same high standard and positioning of olympus digital camera products as one of the it’s kind product with superior looks and features which has a good value for money, directly taking on established competitor like Sony, Cannon, Kodak and Nikkon.
7.4 Product Strategy.
The strategy for existing and new Olympus digital camera productline in place are for both short and long term growth. The Product Strategy team took on an exciting new challenge: to define the form and performance characteristics of the ideal digital SLR image sensor, to maximize the portable mobility and handling ease that are fundamental advantages of digital SLR photography.
Olympus drew on the ability to miniaturize technology which is essential part of it’s corporate following to have a superb combination of size, features, and performance that made will make the brand a worldwide bestseller.
New generation Olympus Products has spawned a complete line of designed-for-digital lenses, an innovative dust reduction system,a revolutionary camera-shake protection mechanism and the world’s smallest, lightest SLR camera.
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