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04-22-2008, 04:47 PM   #61
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When you are an excellent professional such as yourself, you don't need anybody's sponsorship. I thank you for your many helpful contributions to this forum and hope you will continue to share your insights and experience with us.

Ted

04-22-2008, 05:48 PM   #62
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Thank you

Thank you Ben,

I have been lurking around for quite some time and your posts have always been an enjoyable read.

Thank you, I hope you stay around.
04-22-2008, 06:17 PM   #63
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Very well stated Delgado!!

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.
Yes they can not see the future, IMHO they not only really dropped the ball, but then took it home with them when they were called on it, and now many of the players are hurting, they still want to play but their team mates and spectators are leaving... Come on Pentax, we were there for you when you asked for players, stand by your team and support their faith in the marque.

Without them you will not be in the play offs...

Phil
04-22-2008, 06:31 PM   #64
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Making a myth from a brand - - -

Making a myth from a brand - you've hit the nail squarely.

Hi Benjikan. I'm really new here in this forum, and just beginning to approach photography as a true enthusiast. I actually just looked at a few pages of your press folio for the first time - to my mind THAT is what fashion photography is supposed to be about - striking, challenging, evocative - drawing the viewer immediately into the image and not letting him turn to the next. Wow!

Bunch of Effen boneheads if they can't see how to connect that imagery with the tool the artist CHOOSES to use.

I have always been bonded to Pentax, even when my KX and MESuper were just sitting on the shelf of my closet.

I suppose that is because I received a KX and 50/1.4 as a college graduation present. It just felt right. My grandmother described that Pentax as a "thinking man's" camera, and she was so proud to be able to make that gift. THAT is the product of a myth!!

Too bad you can't do your business in the US - I'll bet we could get Pentax USA to build the myth (but then everyone says the US is too 'old-school' and passe now anyway).

04-22-2008, 06:44 PM   #65
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Ben; I think you were a positive catalyst in many ways and discussions and hopefully will continue to be. there have been some interesting discussions in the threads.

I have always enjoyed when you sent links to some of your shoots in magazines etc. and I hope you can continue to do that.

Part of this forum is just helping others and you have certainly done that.
04-22-2008, 07:54 PM   #66
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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.
Well written and right on the mark. Interesting that just tonight I had the "lack of myth" experience myself. I'm a member of a local photo club that has about 50 members and each month we try to do a seminar for each other. My turn this week. There I am with a lightbox all set up. Tripod proudly displaying Adam's Pentax forums sticker on one of the legs. K10D set up etc. The group is a mixed lot, some considerably better than me and some very new shooters. Some using P&S's until they can afford to move to a DSLR, some still shooting film. Anyway the little demo goes well and lots of ideas float around the room.

Afterwards 2 P&S shooters take me aside to ask about the camera, it's features and so on. Both were impressed with the little demo and the shots we tried. They thought the camera was well featured. Lord knows I tried (I'm a salesperson for a living) and they have seen my other stuff which gets a pretty good response. But both are buying Canons, not because they are better but because they have the impression they are better. The myth will sell another 2 cameras shortly.

Pentax could make a D300 or a Mark III and sell it for $599.00. The Nikon and Canon would still outsell the Pentax. Look at all the recent threads about salespeople at Wolfe or Ritz or In the land of Oz. My Pentax rep for eastern Canada had never owned an SLR until he got hired by Pentax a year ago and got a demo unit! There's no store training, no sales incentives to the salespeople at the store level and there are no Pro's being waved around to the buying public that could create the myth.

It's like watching the once proud Jaguar Automotive being sold to some flaky (cough, cough) "car" company in India that will be the end of that brand.

get it together Pentax. Rebates and discounts are not the way to sell a product. Create the desire in the customers mind before they walk in the store. Then you'll sell cameras.
04-22-2008, 08:06 PM   #67
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I really like your post as well Delgado, it's very well said.

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
The group is a mixed lot, some considerably better than me
I have to say I really doubt that Peter
Your a great photographer. And the only person I ever wanted a photograph for, as my computers wallpaper.
Which I finally removed last week, while calibrating my screen
04-22-2008, 08:17 PM   #68
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What do you shoot?

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Well written and right on the mark. Interesting that just tonight I had the "lack of myth" experience myself. I'm a member of a local photo club that has about 50 members and each month we try to do a seminar for each other. My turn this week. There I am with a lightbox all set up. Tripod proudly displaying Adam's Pentax forums sticker on one of the legs. K10D set up etc. The group is a mixed lot, some considerably better than me and some very new shooters. Some using P&S's until they can afford to move to a DSLR, some still shooting film. Anyway the little demo goes well and lots of ideas float around the room.

Afterwards 2 P&S shooters take me aside to ask about the camera, it's features and so on. Both were impressed with the little demo and the shots we tried. They thought the camera was well featured. Lord knows I tried (I'm a salesperson for a living) and they have seen my other stuff which gets a pretty good response. But both are buying Canons, not because they are better but because they have the impression they are better. The myth will sell another 2 cameras shortly.
Peter,
I shoot for an established wedding photographer. She uses Canon but allows me to use my Pentax K10d and DA*s. To date she is pleased with the quality of my images (both what I and what Pentax produce). I have met up with her and some other local photographers on a few ocassions for some model shoots and social events. Invariably the conversations turns to gear. When I am asked what I shoot and respond Pentax, I get a fascinating response. Many photographers say, oh yea I learned on a Pentax (usually k1000); do they make dslr's?
At one model shoot, a well meaning photographer was convinced I was dragging my shutter. It was only the solid thwack of the K10D shutter compared with her Canon 1d???

04-22-2008, 09:29 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by lock2nl Quote
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
Problem is (from what it seams) is that Pentax Local only really communicates with Pentax Jp, and by that I mean Jp says jump they say how-high. This has always been like this. Look at what the jp market has gotten, tones of special bodies (like var LX models) they get all the options and still get most of the FA* lenses (could be from old-stock, but still)
I have been exploring this over the past years and just look how no one seams to talk. Even at PMA I only see 2 countries in the booth, USA and Jp I may be missing others, but unlike the other booths the reps are not visable. At other co I have seen and talked with reps from var EU nations, Jp, Asia and even one one time from south america. Granted its PMA in the USA but still its regarded as the main trade show of the year (when no photokina) I am unsure about photokina but from talking to reps in the past only people like John and Ned go over to photokina and thy are usually in meetings

Ben, its sad your partnership did not work out, I understand what you and others are saying but I agree with lock2nl;225776 that it needs to be a company (global) wide effort for this myth to occure. Good luck and pm me if you ever want to get rid of the gear
04-23-2008, 02:19 AM   #70
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the truth

Gee, so much BS!

Let's get to the point: He was banned from dpreview because of this Pentax sponsorship and now he desperately tries to reenter the club.

so weak

"C'est la vie"
04-23-2008, 02:35 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by pareto Quote
Gee, so much BS!

Let's get to the point: He was banned from dpreview because of this Pentax sponsorship and now he desperately tries to reenter the club.

so weak

"C'est la vie"

Evidence, if you please.
04-23-2008, 03:15 AM   #72
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Congratulations Ben. You are now a FREE man!

Unfortunately corporations are invariably run by those with deep pockets and shallow minds, so be relieved, deeply relieved, that you are not in the same mould!

There are others who felt the same and have taken similar steps in the past in order to maintain their integrity, but some don't stand by their principles. You do not dissapoint!

I for one, continue to look forward to reading your views, advice and seeing your photos, even though I don't do any of your style of photography, I find them refresingly different, facinating and inspirational. Keep posting, on all topics, I'm certain we'll all benefit and learn from each other.

Once again - Congratulations!
04-23-2008, 03:17 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by pareto Quote
Gee, so much BS!

Let's get to the point: He was banned from dpreview because of this Pentax sponsorship and now he desperately tries to reenter the club.

so weak

"C'est la vie"
Excuse me? I left Pentax and Pentax left me...

Ben
04-23-2008, 03:23 AM   #74
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Sheesh Ben - mutual loss for politics, what a waste.

Glad to hear you intend to stay around as you are an information source AND an inspiration for all of us.

Best regards,

Rod
04-23-2008, 06:43 AM   #75
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Hey Ben,
will you try a Nikon sponsorship next and tell me about it?

I'm tired of breaking my pentax's.
In my business cabinet, I have about 8 repair order receipts from the last 10 months or so. I'm sick of this.

So check out nikon for me ok?

Merci Beaucoup
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