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04-26-2008, 05:32 AM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Hmmm...Interesting. Why is Canon backing all of the major Fashion oriented events? Trends are set by Fashion and Music. If you do not think that Fashion is important, look at all of the surviving relics that go back centuries. The frescos in Egypt, Rome and Persia for example. Many of the only remaining artifacts are etched in stone. No sir. fashion is a reflection of society. It mirrors our shell and speaks loudly of our social mores, attitudes and mind set. It is a record or time capsule that speaks loudly and is studied by scholars in a variety of disciplines.

Ben
Because many of us do not live at the financial level where fashion resides, we probably don't realize the impact it has on people down here....it's the same concept in fashion as in cameras...women want what Tyra is wearing, etc...you get the point. Deny it all you want, the masses of people with the disposable income to make high $ purchases think this way.

It's interesting talking about making Pentax a myth and how they could make a D300 for cheap and it wouldn't sell. I agree. Back in the 70's when I was a little kid in grade school, the 'thing' was the "alligator shirt"I had 3 or 4 by the way because I wanted to "fit in"....it was actually a 'croc' by the way but we lovingly called it an alligator shirt....it was made at the time by Izod-Lacoste. Izod was well known for clothing design and LaCoste the name of the French tennis player that invented the idea over his love of crocs. Anyway... without telling the whole five page story... as it happens, no one with logo shits could ever duplicate it though LeTigre tried as did others. Polo probably was the best competition. Well, to sell more, Izod cheaped the shirt out and split from LaCoste...you could by one in K-Mart at one point for cheap. The brand pretty much died as the exclusive crowd went to Polo. As it is now, over the past few years, Lacoste has taken the brand back and re-invented the 'croc shirt' as an icon by inflating the price to about $80 US per shirt and putting them in boutiques and a few high end stores like Nordstroms, etc. Why does this work? Because people want to think they have something expensive. People want status symbols whether you agree or not. The materials and logo really never changed but the price and exclusivity did. And people are buying. Not to mention they have some sponsors such as Andy Roddick in America and I am not sure who elsewhere.

In that Ben is from France, I am sure he is familiar with this brand and story and I am sure there are others.


Last edited by PaulAndAPentax; 04-26-2008 at 05:38 AM.
04-26-2008, 06:04 AM   #137
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QuoteOriginally posted by PaulAndAPentax Quote
Because many of us do not live at the financial level where fashion resides, we probably don't realize the impact it has on people down here....it's the same concept in fashion as in cameras...women want what Tyra is wearing, etc...you get the point. Deny it all you want, the masses of people with the disposable income to make high $ purchases think this way.

It's interesting talking about making Pentax a myth and how they could make a D300 for cheap and it wouldn't sell. I agree. Back in the 70's when I was a little kid in grade school, the 'thing' was the "alligator shirt"I had 3 or 4 by the way because I wanted to "fit in"....it was actually a 'croc' by the way but we lovingly called it an alligator shirt....it was made at the time by Izod-Lacoste. Izod was well known for clothing design and LaCoste the name of the French tennis player that invented the idea over his love of crocs. Anyway... without telling the whole five page story... as it happens, no one with logo shits could ever duplicate it though LeTigre tried as did others. Polo probably was the best competition. Well, to sell more, Izod cheaped the shirt out and split from LaCoste...you could by one in K-Mart at one point for cheap. The brand pretty much died as the exclusive crowd went to Polo. As it is now, over the past few years, Lacoste has taken the brand back and re-invented the 'croc shirt' as an icon by inflating the price to about $80 US per shirt and putting them in boutiques and a few high end stores like Nordstroms, etc. Why does this work? Because people want to think they have something expensive. People want status symbols whether you agree or not. The materials and logo really never changed but the price and exclusivity did. And people are buying. Not to mention they have some sponsors such as Andy Roddick in America and I am not sure who elsewhere.

In that Ben is from France, I am sure he is familiar with this brand and story and I am sure there are others.
Funny, small world. I am a very good friend of the VP Director of Marketing of Lacoste. In fact we are working on a project together.

Ben
04-26-2008, 07:21 AM   #138
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I'm looking forward to seeing some of those photographs Ben
04-26-2008, 08:14 AM   #139
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I'm new to all this Photography stuff but I always look forward to your pictures and posts, I hope you continue to post your pictures and thought's. I'm sure this is a greater loss to Pentax. Good luck in the future.

04-26-2008, 08:17 AM   #140
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
I'm looking forward to seeing some of those photographs Ben
I am not working as a photographer for Lacoste. It is in a Consulting Creative Direction capacity.

Ben
04-26-2008, 08:44 AM   #141
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QuoteOriginally posted by PaulAndAPentax Quote
Back in the 70's when I was a little kid in grade school, the 'thing' was the "alligator shirt"I had 3 or 4 by the way because I wanted to "fit in"....
That sure brings back memories! My group of friends "rebelled" against "preppies wearing Izod" by going punk.....
Nah, no fashion in that...
04-30-2008, 04:27 PM   #142
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Hi Ben

Apologies for arriving late to this particular thread and very sorry to hear that your sponsorship link with Pentax has recently bitten the dust ! I'm afraid that s**t sometimes happens, often for no logical reason !! Commercial organisations regularly take unexpected twists & turns and management strategies remain a total mystery to the majority of rational human beings.
I obviously have no wish to delve into confidential matters, but can only assume that your sponsorship arrangement with Pentax gave you access to photographic gear and perhaps more importantly speedy back-up, in the unlikely event of equipment malfunction ? I am not privy to much of Pentax's previous history, but think it fair to conclude that the company lagged somewhat behind their immediate rivals when the world of digital photography first took-off in a serious way and that they have been playing a game of 'catch-up' with the big-boys ever since. Let Minolta's demise be a serious warning to complacent management around the globe !! Even with Hoya's much-needed injection of working capital, I reckon that it will still be many years before Pentax regain anything remotely approaching their previous position as a serious player in the photographic industry.
Although Pentax may not have access to the huge marketing budgets of either C***n or N***n, I am constantly amazed by the virtual INVISIBILITY of their advertising. Have they never heard about the concept of product-placement ? Jeez, does this department need a MASSIVE kick up the arse !!!! Pentoya have a growing reputation for manufacturing an excellent well-regarded range of digital SLR's and hopefully have a bright future.
The words of advice I'd like to get across at Boardroom level are:

Lose the bunker-mentality, stop hiding behind the parapet and LET THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT YOUR PRODUCTS..capiche !!!!!!
And for Ch***t's sake wake up and get shot of your lousy advertising agency, PRONTO !

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 04-30-2008 at 05:31 PM.
04-30-2008, 07:28 PM   #143
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Ben,

Although I am not a frequent contributor to this forum, I have read many of your postings here and I am very appreciative of all the work you have done for us on this forum. You have been a great benefit to Pentax and I think that Pentax have made a grave error in not re-appointing you as a Pentaxian representative. I wonder if the Hoya merger had anything to do with this?

I sincerely hope that Pentax comes to their senses!

All the best in your future endeavours and I hope it includes Pentax!

05-01-2008, 02:25 AM   #144
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No...Hoya had absolutely nothing to do with this. I am sure that Hoya are not yet aware of this. In fact this is the letter I received from HOYA several months ago.

"Hello Mr. Kanarek,

Thank you for your comment in regards to Hoya and Pentax merger.

It is still too early to talk about what will happen after TOB because we are still under discussion, but we would like to let you know what we think about Pentax camera business and our merger.

As you already know, Pentax is one of Japan's best-known camera makers with worldwide brand recognition and a nealy 90-year history, and HOYA respects it very much. We appreciate Pentax's excellent technology, products and brand. We believe that two companies are the best partners and by integrating both companies' skills and technologies, we can grow much bigger. That's the reason why we are offering tender offer.

Hoya is a manufacuturer, not investors or fund managers. We do M&A in order to strengthen our business, not to chop them up and sell. HOYA believes Pentax will be able to continue inventing excellent products to meet its customer needs, and we can support in many ways.

We are so glad to know that Pentax is working with a talented artist like you. We'd appreciate your continuous support.

If there are any quesitons, please feel free to contact us anytime. "

GHQ

I had a short meeting with a Pentax France high end employee yesterday, it was very illuminating to say the least....
05-01-2008, 03:20 AM   #145
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Hi Ben

Interesting stuff !! But I must disagree with their following sentiment.......

QuoteQuote:
Pentax is one of Japan's best-known camera makers with worldwide brand recognition
It's the last part of that statement I have a genuine problem with, in which case, Pentax/Hoya's problem of complacency is clearly deeper-seated than I first thought. Worldwide Brand Recognition ???? Are Pentax actually serious about this ? At the risk of upsetting many loyal devotees on this forum, I'd like to issue a direct challenge to the sleep-walking board members of Hoya right here and now. Get up off your conceited corporate ar**s, start smelling the coffee, then do the unthinkable and take a clipboard and questionnaire out to the middle of any small town in Europe or middle America.
Pose the following question to a random cross-section of passers-by, both young & old:

Q: Do you recognise any of the following brands and if so, kindly place them in order of magnitude ?

a) Canon
b) McDonalds
c) Pentax
d) Coca-Cola
e) Nikon
f) Sony

Then go back to your Head Office and start sifting through the data......you're not gonna like the results of your poll, I can assure you !!!

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 05-02-2008 at 03:47 AM.
05-01-2008, 04:30 AM   #146
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
Hi Ben

Interesting stuff !! But I must disagree with their following sentiment.......



It's the last part of that statement I have a genuine problem with, in which case, Pentax/Hoya's problem of complacency is clearly deeper-seated than I first thought. Worldwide Brand Recognition ???? Are Pentax actually serious about this ? At the risk of upsetting many loyal devotees on this forum, I'd like to issue a direct challenge to the sleep-walking board members of Hoya right here and now. Get up off your conceited corporate ar**s, start smelling the coffee and then do the unthinkable and take a clipboard and questionnaire out to the middle of any small town in Europe or middle America.
Pose the following question to a random cross-section of passers-by, both young & old:

Q: Do you recognise any of the following brands and if so, kindly place them in order of magnitude ?

a) Canon
b) McDonalds
c) Pentax
d) Coca-Cola
e) Nikon
f) Sony

Then go back to your Head Office and start sifting through the data......you're not gonna like the results of your poll, I can assure you !!!

Best regards
Richard
Hi Richard;

I totally agree with your observations. I won't go in to a major diatribe about the "why" of this, but living in a glass house can be dangerous at times.

Ben
05-01-2008, 08:38 AM   #147
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
questionnaire out to the middle of any small town in Europe or middle America.
Pose the following question to a random cross-section of passers-by, both young & old:

Q: Do you recognise any of the following brands and if so, kindly place them in order of magnitude ?

a) Canon
b) McDonalds
c) Pentax
d) Coca-Cola
e) Nikon
f) Sony
Actually, it wasn't said that Pentax is one of the top 10 brands on this planet. It is not. Who cares? It is a brand with world-wide recognition and the average trespasser in a German village will more likely have heard about than not. It is loosely associated with the company which invented SLR, with the pentaprisma, you know...

Actually, Pentax is not among the Top-100 brands. But I give you the ranking for your list right here:

a) Canon: No.35
b) McDonalds: No.9
c) Pentax: >100
cc) Samsung: No.20
d) Coca-Cola: No.1
e) Nikon: >100
f) Sony: No.26

source: BusinessWeek Online: Top 100 Global Brands Interactive Table


Interesting as well:
Poll: Best SLR rivals to Canon and Nikon | Underexposed - CNET News.com
Here Pentax leads ahead of Sony.

Last edited by falconeye; 05-01-2008 at 09:06 AM.
05-01-2008, 12:42 PM   #148
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
Hi Ben

Interesting stuff !! But I must disagree with their following sentiment.......



It's the last part of that statement I have a genuine problem with, in which case, Pentax/Hoya's problem of complacency is clearly deeper-seated than I first thought. Worldwide Brand Recognition ???? Are Pentax actually serious about this ? Richard

It is your interpretation of the lists thats the problem. Pentax is indeed among the best known brand in photography. Better brand recognition than Sony in this field. Coca Cola is number 1 global brand but do you really think that a $5000 Coca Cola camera would have enjoyed better brand credibility than a similarly priced Pentax Camera?
05-01-2008, 01:03 PM   #149
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Hello Everyone;

I wish to announce that I am no longer sponsored by Pentax and am a free agent. I will use Pentax gear as it suits my needs for now.

Let us just say that there were some rather profound differences of opinion that ended in the decision that this would be the best for all parties. I had made my intentions clear several months ago. There were some back and forth resonant expressions of intent on either side, with the resultant situation I am in today, free to choose what best suits my purposes.

As of this point in time, I am just another pro photographer.

There you have it...Let the show continue

Benjamin Kanarek
Well, I am amazed so many seem to be sorry for some reason!? I'd like to congratulate!

I mean from my point of view it is always best to be independent, now I can really appreciate what you will say about Pentax and it's gear, it will come from your very own non-sponsored point of view.

Hope to see your presence in this forum to continue!
05-01-2008, 03:48 PM   #150
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I read through this whole thread (much to my amazement at myself). There is an underlying thread here that I find kind of interesting.

I think Ben (and not a few others as well) have pointed out that a camera is just a tool used to capture the image. And yet... People get quite emotional about their Pentax/Canon/Nikon, etc. An entire thread about Pentax corporate culture, essentially. Do you see tool and die makers getting into emotional/angst-ridden debates about the direction that Starret is going versus where Mitutoyo is heading? No. Cabinet makers on Stanley versus Black and Decker? No.

How many of us - truthfully - could not do as well as we do (or perhaps as poorly as we do in my case) with a similar Nikon? Or Canon? Or whatever? I think it is a rare photographer who can truthfully say: "I depend on this particular model of camera to make me what I am".

In my case, I nearly bought a Nikon - was actually on the verge of slapping down the plastic when I got a good hard look at the K10d. And I'd handled a Canon or two that I thought would work just fine for me as well. What brought me to the K10d was two things: first, business was poor last year and the K10d was less expensive and allowed me to use my existing Pentax lenses at least until I had the scratch to start buying lenses. Second, in my lifestyle things get rough, and the K10d's seals and construction left me feeling that there was a strong likelihood that it could take it probably a lot better than any other camera with similar capabilities/price point.

But really, ignoring the money and toughness issues I used in my decision making, would I have been noticeably worse off if I had opted for... oh, a Nikon D80, let's say? I don't think so. In fact, I borrowed my buddies D80 last week because my wife had the K10d for taking puppy pics and took what I thought are some pretty darned nice pictures, despite being totally unfamiliar with the camera and its controls.

Really, it is hard to lose these days as an amateur/prosumer photographer - look what we have to choose from for crying out loud. I'll take what we're "stuck" with today over my original Spotmatic 500 and era lenses, thanks very much. And yet, I have a few friends whose wildlife nature photography back then with a Spotmatic and with the identical lenses is still head and shoulders over anything I can produce today or am ever likely to.

All of which leaves me a bit puzzled over feverent brand loyalty and angst over corporate direction. Whichever way Pentax or <fill in name of Big Camera Company here> jumps/doesn't jump isn't going to affect Ben's ability to put food on his plate and follow his artistic muse. It isn't going to affect my ability to flail about madly in all directions attempting to capture pleasing images of the things that are meaningful in my life. I think far too often many of us get caught up in focusing on the tools rather than than what we create with the tools.

Justify what I use to anyone else? Who cares? I frankly don't give a ragged rat's ass what anybody thinks about whatever camera is hanging around my neck. Of course, I barely give that same ragged rat's ass about what they think of my photos - I primarily take photos to please me, not please other people. I hope my photos can convey to others the excitement and emotional ties I have with the mountains, service in the military, flyfishing, kayaking, hunting, gun dogs, or whatever - but ultimately my motivation is that photos are saved fragments of memory and emotion for me.

Perhaps I don't get it. But as I see it, Pentax is just another maker of tools. Tools with their own unique feel no doubt. But in the end, just one quality brand of tools among other quality brands of tools.

Good luck Ben. But in view of the above, I doubt your continuing success will have anything to do with luck - or with whatever brand of tools you happen to have in your hands at any given moment.
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