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04-22-2008, 12:50 AM   #46
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What has already been said by all, ditto

Wal'

04-22-2008, 01:20 AM   #47
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This is a terrible news, Ben. The very thought of you departing the forum is a great loss here.

One of the great things visiting this forum is reading your posts and your opinions count the most (also quite entertaining )

Thanks for your guidance publicly or privately in photography and hope to see you around, giving us an independent assessment of various gear and photographs.
04-22-2008, 03:03 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Look , between my discussions and conflicts with Carole, Philippe etc. at Pentax France, I had the feeling that they really didn't quite get how to build a myth from a brand. Their creative marketing choices were not credible to my sector. Perhaps with the improvements of the Pentax line there will be more migrations.
Ben
Ben, I only got to the second page in this thread but this one amazes me. How on earth did you expect to achieve this with the Pentax France only ?

This demands serious wide scale marketing strategy, and probably a backup from Pentax Japan as well. Now, if you would have had an agreement with Pentax USA or at least something like Pentax Europe, but Prentax France ?
You know, you can't sell patatoes world wide with only the local supermarket as a partner ....

To put Pentax on that level, the pro signature has to be backed up as well. Wasn't it simply Pentax chickening out because they could not if the message came through ?

lock
04-22-2008, 05:31 AM   #49
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Ben:

As you are no longer under an NDA, any thoughts on the status of the 645D?

04-22-2008, 05:41 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
As you are no longer under an NDA, any thoughts on the status of the 645D?
I highly doubt any NDA terminates like that. Otherwise, they'd be meaningless you could sign one, get the secret information, and then quit and tell everyone what you learned.
04-22-2008, 06:04 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
This is a terrible news, Ben. The very thought of you departing the forum is a great loss here.
Yep. Only the thought, because he's not leaving us
04-22-2008, 09:10 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I highly doubt any NDA terminates like that. Otherwise, they'd be meaningless you could sign one, get the secret information, and then quit and tell everyone what you learned.
Most NDA's last from 3 to 5 years...

Ben
04-22-2008, 10:23 AM   #53
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Why would PopPhoto pressure Pentax to make you do something?
That's pretty bloody weird. All they should care about is ad money from Pentax. If anything, Pentax should be able to pressure PopPhoto by threatening to pull ads, unless Canon/Nikon was mad at Pentax's ads and wanted PopPhoto to pull them...

Sorry for the loss of freebies, Ben. Hope you managed to grab all the limiteds and a few rare FA* lenses while you had it good ;-)
And we all know PopPhoto sux as a photo/review mag ;-)

04-22-2008, 10:39 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Why would PopPhoto pressure Pentax to make you do something?
That's pretty bloody weird. All they should care about is ad money from Pentax. If anything, Pentax should be able to pressure PopPhoto by threatening to pull ads, unless Canon/Nikon was mad at Pentax's ads and wanted PopPhoto to pull them...

Sorry for the loss of freebies, Ben. Hope you managed to grab all the limiteds and a few rare FA* lenses while you had it good ;-)
And we all know PopPhoto sux as a photo/review mag ;-)
Pentax needs all of the Mainstream press backing as possible.

Ben
04-22-2008, 11:11 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Pentax needs all of the Mainstream press backing as possible.

Ben
I don't like the way Pentax is heading. They seem to be oriented more at getting new customers and selling new cameras while they're forgetting about existing users and problems with existing cameras
04-22-2008, 01:51 PM   #56
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Ah it was the posts about the off brand mirror lenses that did it!

;-)
04-22-2008, 02:05 PM   #57
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If it can cheer you up, Ben, things would certainly have turned sour faster with Pentax Canada. I'm glad to hear that you'll keep on contributing to this forum. Wherever you may go, I wish you good luck.
Yves
04-22-2008, 02:47 PM   #58
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Sh*t happens....good luck....
04-22-2008, 03:54 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Look , between my discussions and conflicts with Carole, Philippe etc. at Pentax France, I had the feeling that they really didn't quite get how to build a myth from a brand. Their creative marketing choices were not credible to my sector.
The key phrase exposing the depth of Pentax's failure to grasp what they had with Ben is "I had the feeling that they really didn't quite get how to build a myth from a brand." And for good measure - just in case Pentax missed it: "My intention was to re-establish the pedigree that was Pentax=Fashion. Not ephemeral but deeply ensconced in Fashion and therefore cutting edge and avant garde." There it is - in two sentences exactly what Pentax should be doing. Ben knew what needed to be done and how to do it. Instead of caving in to pressure from the "popular" press in the hope that they will write nice things, Pentax could have allowed Ben to do what he does best and develop the mystique. Everything else would have followed. This is something Nikon and Canon understand and do very well. It is something Pentax, plainly, is clueless over.

The K10D was untouchable in its class. Despite that, the offerings from Nikon and Canon make K10D sales look pathetic. Nikon and Canon understand that people buy emotionally and then justify logically. Nikons and Canons sold well - not due to specifications, or availability, or discounts - but another reason. Even the most inexperienced beginner feels like a pro when they hang the Nikon or Canon badge around their neck. That is what they are buying - not just a camera, but "the myth" as Ben calls it. For many people that emotional lift is beyond price. A friend of mine bought a Louis Vuitton shoulder bag last year. It cost as much as my K20D body, and I can't deny it is quite a nice bag. I've seen bags that were just as nice to my eye for considerably less, but to her it represented the lifestyle and the dream. Price and logic were an irrelevence to her. Are you paying attention Pentax?

Nikon and Canon sweep all before them because they understand what the dream means to their customers and capitalise on it. They understand that professionals do not make up the bulk of their sales (professionals in any field are by their nature, never numerous). Professionals are Nikon and Canon's free advertising and recruitment agencies. Their profits come from the millions of amateurs who want that badge because of what it says about them, and how it makes them feel like a pro. If their customers are really nervous they also buy (at extra cost) the camera strap with "Professional" on it. The pictures aren't any better because of it, but what a boost it gives a fragile ego. The point to this is that until Pentax starts addressing the emotional needs of its potential customers (as Ben was trying to do), its progress will be modest.

Brands that have understood the mystique charge whatever they like for as long as they like. The more expensive their products are the more their customers love it because of the sense of exclusivity it gives them. By contrast, how many people remember Pentax's sad, pathetic campaign in the last year or so? If I reduce it to its bare message it was "Hello there....there aren't just two manufactures of cameras you know...we make them as well...you must have heard of us and you may have used one of our cameras before " on and on and on in the most dreary, plodding, lazy, pitiful, embarrassing exercise to have come from any advertising agency schooled wherever marketing is taught but not learned.

Ultimately - as I see it - what has happened is that Pentax's nerve has failed it. They are going to play the conventional wisdom game instead of doing something that would have given them mystique and market separation. I have no means of telling if this is due to pressure from above (Hoya), an absence of vision, or a combination of both. Whatever the reason, Pentax has allowed one of its most insightful and helpful ambassadors to slip through its hands. I hope they are satisfied.
04-22-2008, 04:25 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Delgado Quote
The key phrase exposing the depth of Pentax's failure to grasp what they had with Ben is "I had the feeling that they really didn't quite get how to build a myth from a brand." And for good measure - just in case Pentax missed it: "My intention was to re-establish the pedigree that was Pentax=Fashion. Not ephemeral but deeply ensconced in Fashion and therefore cutting edge and avant garde." There it is - in two sentences exactly what Pentax should be doing. Ben knew what needed to be done and how to do it. Instead of caving in to pressure from the "popular" press in the hope that they will write nice things, Pentax could have allowed Ben to do what he does best and develop the mystique. Everything else would have followed. This is something Nikon and Canon understand and do very well. It is something Pentax, plainly, is clueless over.

The K10D was untouchable in its class. Despite that, the offerings from Nikon and Canon make K10D sales look pathetic. Nikon and Canon understand that people buy emotionally and then justify logically. Nikons and Canons sold well - not due to specifications, or availability, or discounts - but another reason. Even the most inexperienced beginner feels like a pro when they hang the Nikon or Canon badge around their neck. That is what they are buying - not just a camera, but "the myth" as Ben calls it. For many people that emotional lift is beyond price. A friend of mine bought a Louis Vuitton shoulder bag last year. It cost as much as my K20D body, and I can't deny it is quite a nice bag. I've seen bags that were just as nice to my eye for considerably less, but to her it represented the lifestyle and the dream. Price and logic were an irrelevence to her. Are you paying attention Pentax?

Nikon and Canon sweep all before them because they understand what the dream means to their customers and capitalise on it. They understand that professionals do not make up the bulk of their sales (professionals in any field are by their nature, never numerous). Professionals are Nikon and Canon's free advertising and recruitment agencies. Their profits come from the millions of amateurs who want that badge because of what it says about them, and how it makes them feel like a pro. If their customers are really nervous they also buy (at extra cost) the camera strap with "Professional" on it. The pictures aren't any better because of it, but what a boost it gives a fragile ego. The point to this is that until Pentax starts addressing the emotional needs of its potential customers (as Ben was trying to do), its progress will be modest.

Brands that have understood the mystique charge whatever they like for as long as they like. The more expensive their products are the more their customers love it because of the sense of exclusivity it gives them. By contrast, how many people remember Pentax's sad, pathetic campaign in the last year or so? If I reduce it to its bare message it was "Hello there....there aren't just two manufactures of cameras you know...we make them as well...you must have heard of us and you may have used one of our cameras before " on and on and on in the most dreary, plodding, lazy, pitiful, embarrassing exercise to have come from any advertising agency schooled wherever marketing is taught but not learned.

Ultimately - as I see it - what has happened is that Pentax's nerve has failed it. They are going to play the conventional wisdom game instead of doing something that would have given them mystique and market separation. I have no means of telling if this is due to pressure from above (Hoya), an absence of vision, or a combination of both. Whatever the reason, Pentax has allowed one of its most insightful and helpful ambassadors to slip through its hands. I hope they are satisfied.
I took the liberty of sending this to Ned Bunnell...As you know, I am a Partner in "dotscomagency.com" Ad Agency in Paris. I had been a consulting Creative Director for Lancome, Dim, Club Med etc. in Paris. I attempted to share some of my expertise with Pentax but...C'est La Vie.

Thanks
Ben

Last edited by benjikan; 04-22-2008 at 04:37 PM.
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