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07-18-2012, 11:26 AM   #1
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Thom Hogan - PRIC Branding

GXR Branding Limbo | Sans Mirror ? mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras | Thom Hogan

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Update: dpreview reported on July 16th that they were told "[Pentax as the DSLR-brand, Ricoh as the compact brand] is one option that was discussed but the final decision has not been made." Okay. Where does that put us? It puts us into the realm where Ricoh/Pentax is moving too slowly, that's where. An acquisition like this has prices beyond what was paid in cash. The longer you don't have clear decision making and a clear face to the public, the more you risk letting your products slip against competitors.
I agree. Waffling is not the right move. You can see it in the pricing the last few months...from an outsider, it looks like too much indecision. That may or may not be the case, but sometimes perception is reality.

07-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
I agree. Waffling is not the right move. You can see it in the pricing the last few months...from an outsider, it looks like too much indecision. That may or may not be the case, but sometimes perception is reality.
You can also see it in the candy arss marketing they are putting out there (as noted in other threads); looking forward to the real Pentax to step forward sometime soon...
07-18-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
You can also see it in the candy arss marketing they are putting out there (as noted in other threads); looking forward to the real Pentax to step forward sometime soon...
It better happen real soon...if you arent moving forward, you are moving backward.
07-18-2012, 01:14 PM   #4
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The article goes on to say something that runs counter to the strongly held beliefs of many here regarding B&M distribution channels:
"The problem is still the same as it ever has been for Pentax. I wrote over 10 years ago that (the then independent) Pentax was in trouble. Since then, it was first acquired by Hoya, more recently by Ricoh. All this management and structural change has taken a toll on Pentax' ability to iterate. To their credit, they've managed to continue produce good DSLRs though all the turmoil, though not quite at the pace of the other three players. The real problem has been that they've lost dealers and distribution, lost marketing visibility, lost market share, and through all of that have lost any cost advantages they had. Thus, to find growth they need to change something dramatically. I still think that Pentax is the most likely brand to go all direct sales in the US; that would be a relatively dramatic change, though one fraught with peril and need for strong marketing. Or it could be a really strong product that's highly differentiated in design, performance, or features from the Canikony (Canon, Nikon, Sony) ones. I doubt that the dramatic change they can make would be pricing."


07-18-2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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I don't think I would worry too much about the GXR. Between the Q and K-01, my guess is that sales of the GXR are nowhere close to the "Pentaxes". Something has to give, and as I've said in other threads, I can see a unified team - taken from the Q/K-01/GXR teams - and collaborating on a single camera moving forward. MILC cameras? Pentax only needs ONE. There are bigger fish to catch and fry...as in Full Frame and other DSLRs.
07-18-2012, 01:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
I don't think I would worry too much about the GXR. Between the Q and K-01, my guess is that sales of the GXR are nowhere close to the "Pentaxes". Something has to give, and as I've said in other threads, I can see a unified team - taken from the Q/K-01/GXR teams - and collaborating on a single camera moving forward. MILC cameras? Pentax only needs ONE. There are bigger fish to catch and fry...as in Full Frame and other DSLRs.
I think the bigger take-away of the article was not the GXR specifically, but the state of Pentax/Ricoh in the US.

Everytime i turn on the TV, I see Ashton Kutcher getting shot out of a cannon with his Nikon 1. And not to mention the bright yellow Nikon mailer in every Sunday newspaper.

I personally have never, ever seen a Pentax advertisement that wasn't a link on this forum. And besides mine, I also have never seen a Pentax out in the public, and I have lived in 2 of the most populous cities in the US my entire life and have visited almost all of the top 10 most populous cities. I think there is a correlation there.
07-18-2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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I saw someone with a digital Pentax in the wild once. What a shock it was. I've seen more people with Pentax film cameras than digital. The major "Pro" shop in the Seattle area doesn't even have a Pentax section anymore (it does with used cameras though). I think that summarizes Pentax's presents in my neck of the woods.

Last edited by tuco; 07-18-2012 at 02:11 PM.
07-18-2012, 02:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
The article goes on to say something that runs counter to the strongly held beliefs of many here regarding B&M distribution channels:
"The problem is still the same as it ever has been for Pentax. I wrote over 10 years ago that (the then independent) Pentax was in trouble. Since then, it was first acquired by Hoya, more recently by Ricoh. All this management and structural change has taken a toll on Pentax' ability to iterate. To their credit, they've managed to continue produce good DSLRs though all the turmoil, though not quite at the pace of the other three players. The real problem has been that they've lost dealers and distribution, lost marketing visibility, lost market share, and through all of that have lost any cost advantages they had. Thus, to find growth they need to change something dramatically. I still think that Pentax is the most likely brand to go all direct sales in the US; that would be a relatively dramatic change, though one fraught with peril and need for strong marketing. Or it could be a really strong product that's highly differentiaUted in design, performance, or features from the Canikony (Canon, Nikon, Sony) ones. I doubt that the dramatic change they can make would be pricing."
I'd agree with Hogan's analysis except for one point. Pentax USA became an internet only distribution concern for all practical purposes since the early days of the Hoya takeover. I'd be very surprised if the B&M sales percentage is above single digits. Pentax USA did that experiment already and I think it turned out poorly. Now they are trying to get back some shelf-space, it seems. Succeeding will take lots of time and dollars. Is Ricoh committed enough to see it through???

07-18-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote
I'd agree with Hogan's analysis except for one point. Pentax USA became an internet only distribution concern for all practical purposes since the early days of the Hoya takeover. I'd be very surprised if the B&M sales percentage is above single digits. Pentax USA did that experiment already and I think it turned out poorly. Now they are trying to get back some shelf-space, it seems. Succeeding will take lots of time and dollars. Is Ricoh committed enough to see it through???
I just don't know if they are or not. The folks at PRIC USA told us that Maximum Assured Pricing was because they needed that in order to get into Target. Well, guess what, Target will only be carrying the K-30 online. So, how are we doing folks with the mythical B&M placement of Pentax branded cameras and lenses?
07-18-2012, 02:24 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I saw someone with a digital Pentax in the wild once. What a shock it was. I've seen more people with Pentax film cameras than digital. The major "Pro" shop in the Seattle area doesn't even have a Pentax section anymore (it does with used cameras though). I think that summarizes Pentax's presents in my neck of the woods.
I see them almost every day along with the tourists. The last photojournalist I saw had a K-5 with the 35 Limited.....
07-18-2012, 02:25 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote
I'd agree with Hogan's analysis except for one point.
The problem with Thom Hogan is that he is usually wrong...
07-18-2012, 02:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
I see them almost every day along with the tourists. The last photojournalist I saw had a K-5 with the 35 Limited.....
You don't live in America, where Pentax was left twisting in the wind.
07-18-2012, 02:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
The problem with Thom Hogan is that he is usually wrong...
...and mostly clueless, if it's about Pentax.
OK, no decision was made yet regarding Pentax compacts. So what? It's low priority anyway, as their ability to draw attention towards the brand is debatable. Pentax seems quite decisive regarding DSLRs, and this is what matters.

P.S. U.S. pricing does not necessarily reflect indecision at a global level
07-18-2012, 02:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I just don't know if they are or not. The folks at PRIC USA told us that Maximum Assured Pricing was because they needed that in order to get into Target. Well, guess what, Target will only be carrying the K-30 online. So, how are we doing folks with the mythical B&M placement of Pentax branded cameras and lenses?
I always thought Ned's statement was referring to the WG2 - waterproof instead of water resistant IIRC. Regardless, it seemed a huge disconnect between what Ned wrote and what is, even at the time. And all events since only broaden that disconnect. How can the price of a DA* 60-250 impact what Target does? That lens will never be on display there.

I don't know if Pentax can get back into B&M sales, but I do know that I wouldn't be a Pentax user today if I hadn't handled a K200D in my local mom and pop photo store. I hadnt even considered a Pentax until the sales handed it to me and said try this. It was clearly superior to the Canon and Nikon offerings. They stopped stocking Pentax shortly after that. I asked if they had or could get a DA40 limited and the sales person said stopped carrying Pentax point and shoots. It's going to take along time to reverse this level of brand ignorance.

Last edited by cfraz; 07-18-2012 at 03:18 PM.
07-18-2012, 02:53 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote
I always thought Ned's statement was referring to the WG2 - waterproof instead of water resistant IIRC. Regardless, it seemed a huge disconnect between what Ned wrote and what is, even at the time. And all events since only broaden that disconnect. How can the price of a DA* 60-250 impact what Target does? That lens will never be on display there.

I don't know if Pentax can get back into B&M sales, but I do know that I wouldn't be a Pentax user today if I hadn't handled a K200D in my local mom and pop photo store. They stocking Pentax shortly after that. I asked if they had or could get a DA40 limited and the sales person said stopped carrying Pentax point and shoots. It's going to take along time to reverse this level of brand ignorance.
I saw lots of inconsistencies in his statements too but was essentially shouted down by the hymn singers and US bashers IMHO. Be that as it may, the real issue is that Maximum Assured Pricing seems to be a mistake but I am genuinely encouraged by recent improvements in Pentax USA and how they have handled the K-30 rollout. There is still a LONG way to go but improvement is good.
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