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05-04-2014, 11:37 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Pentax Akademie

I hope this is not old news ... at least I have not found a thread.

A few weeks ago a "Pentax Akademie" started in Germany offering workshops and webinars for Pentax users as well as a free of charge "membership" (basically another forum in the first place).
Canon and Nikon have well established similar activities here in Germany since years and I think it is good to see such an undertaking from Ricoh/Pentax now.

Here is a link Pentax Akademie Startseite

05-05-2014, 03:19 AM   #2
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Leica also has Leica Akademie.
That is a nice try from Pentax. But they need to open a Pentax experience store as well. One in Germany, one in France, one in the UK.
Without a shop with comprehensive offer and information, such workshops will look more like guerrilla training grounds in rented basements.
05-05-2014, 03:32 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Leica also has Leica Akademie.
That is a nice try from Pentax. But they need to open a Pentax experience store as well. One in Germany, one in France, one in the UK.
Without a shop with comprehensive offer and information, such workshops will look more like guerrilla training grounds in rented basements.
I'm sure they'll be looking at this experience store concept, but to invest in such a venture takes capital, very good market research and a full range of products to justify it. That means, I reckon, a 35mm DSLR and a good range of lenses to go with it. Part of Apple's long climb back to the top has been their stores, but the products have to be premium and sufficiently comprehensive to generate a satisfactory return on the investment.
05-05-2014, 06:08 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
I'm sure they'll be looking at this experience store concept, but to invest in such a venture takes capital, very good market research and a full range of products to justify it. That means, I reckon, a 35mm DSLR and a good range of lenses to go with it. Part of Apple's long climb back to the top has been their stores, but the products have to be premium and sufficiently comprehensive to generate a satisfactory return on the investment.
They have plenty of products. Just those 120+ colours combos of Q7 and K-50 will make anyone dizzy! Then they have K-3, K-3 special, 645Z, perhaps 645D, all compacts including GR, K-mount lenses, 645 mount lenses, Q lenses, TC, flashes, accessories, binoculars, etc. A small exhibition of Pentax film cameras (there are many of them). The by autumn there will be more camera bodies. They are very similar to Leica in range and in historic importance, albeit they have more lenses for some systems than Leica.
I mean, they need to start somewhere ... trial two shops outside Japan, one in New York, one in Beijing, then move on slowly.

05-05-2014, 06:51 AM   #5
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Stores are so history
05-05-2014, 09:36 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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To sum this up: there's now this nice thing called "Pentax Akademie". We're not happy, because they should have brand stores as well. If they'll start having brand stores (doubtful, for the moment at least) we'll still not be happy, because there will be another "must have" thing. There will always be another "must have".
Pentax just can't win.
05-05-2014, 01:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
To sum this up: there's now this nice thing called "Pentax Akademie". We're not happy, because they should have brand stores as well. If they'll start having brand stores (doubtful, for the moment at least) we'll still not be happy, because there will be another "must have" thing. There will always be another "must have".
Pentax just can't win.
I don't think that's quite accurate, at least not as far as I'm concerned. I think the positive aspect of what we're saying is that the stores would help the Akadamie build on what it does. I don't think anyone's unhappy that Pentax Akadamie exists quite the opposite.

---------- Post added 6th May 2014 at 06:31 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
They have plenty of products. Just those 120+ colours combos of Q7 and K-50 will make anyone dizzy! Then they have K-3, K-3 special, 645Z, perhaps 645D, all compacts including GR, K-mount lenses, 645 mount lenses, Q lenses, TC, flashes, accessories, binoculars, etc. A small exhibition of Pentax film cameras (there are many of them). The by autumn there will be more camera bodies. They are very similar to Leica in range and in historic importance, albeit they have more lenses for some systems than Leica.
I mean, they need to start somewhere ... trial two shops outside Japan, one in New York, one in Beijing, then move on slowly.
Well, you could be right, but the distinction I was making was between the number of items they could put on the shelves and the range, which will have a noticeable gap in it until a 35mm body and lenses are included. Rents in those sorts of places aren't cheap, so high margin products are needed, even if the majority of customers don't buy them.
05-05-2014, 01:54 PM   #8
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You weren't the one who called it a "nice try"

By the way, is it really a Ricoh Imaging doing, and not a third party?

05-05-2014, 03:09 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Stores are so history
That is what Dell said to Jobs when Apple's fist store was opened.

Comedy aside, Jobs was right from day one because potential users never had a chance to try an Apple product before buying because dealers were not stocking them!

They went into retail not because of Jobs' vanity, as everyone misunderstood the move, but because of the simple fact that there were less Macs per square retail metre in the US (and in the world) than depleted uranium! Jobs knew all Apple's product were designed superbly, that there are no such products elsewhere, they resonate strongly and create powerful emotional feedback. It was crucial to give those products in hands of customers, let them experience, and that act would change customers mind. That is the short story of their success.

Similarly, there is no chance one would shoot with a Canon camera again if the K-3 or 645Z was there to try, and all limiteds to see. Store presence also reaffirms buyer that company is very serious about its products, and will not disappear overnight. It shows commitment. (Then when I read Thom Hogan advocating Pentax and small companies to stick to online sales, I see complete nonsense.)

Leica faced this same problem, and they still do — regular camera stores are not interested to stock their cameras. How can people appreciate cameras, lenses, the quality, the hole Leica story if they have no idea about them and the context of the selling place is entirely wrong? Because it is the truth that people change their mind when observing a real product in front of them and holding it in their hands as opposed to impersonal online shopping which gives no emotional feedback.

In everyday camera stores, a Canon or a Nikon camera is given in buyer's hand before he or she opened their mouth. First tactile contact was Nikon or Canon, their lenses, sales pitch. Pentax stands no chance. Because the clerk gave those first, they appear recommended buys in buyer's head. Buyer has no idea he or she was manipulated but believes was respected.

By now Leica'd be gone, but several years ago they have changed the management and started to think for themselves: issued the 35mm M9, opened stores, etc. Now launching a new system, etc. Stores helped all that.

In today's screwed up economy, having stores is a small company's only ticket to be on the radar of human experience in the real world. Because in economy of large numbers, no one else cares about small companies, and won't stock them. Ricoh Imaging pours lots of efforts to talk to independent camera stores in the west, but I think part of that effort should be used for their own retail presence.

The most intriguing fact with retail outlets is that sales inside them can be small, and one would say, totally unjustified cost? Nope — wrong! They should not be treated as separate profit centres — rather as a part of the complex sales channel, which often todays ends in online sales. After a visit to a shop, a customer remembers the experience, knows the value, and next time online, a camera, or a lens, will end up in the online shopping cart. Bam! All done, and the retail outlet has fully served its purpose and surpassed the third party camera store inefficiency and their own plots. Retail and online go had in hand. Ask any designer's brand — they would all be dead by now if they had to rely only on catalogues and Target to sell their stuff.




---------- Post added 05-06-2014 at 08:28 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
To sum this up: there's now this nice thing called "Pentax Akademie". We're not happy, because they should have brand stores as well. If they'll start having brand stores (doubtful, for the moment at least) we'll still not be happy, because there will be another "must have" thing. ..
Not entirely. Akademie is good, but a concept itself is a tactic that Pentax learned a decade or two after the rest of the world. Opening a store is not much of a high philosophy either, and it would show Ricoh Imaging is rather learning fast to live in today's world and has a marketing goal, actually.
I do hope I shall be proven right, because it seems to me stores are next logical step and I can see them in India and in China coming before anywhere else (they have one in Japan).

Last edited by Uluru; 05-05-2014 at 05:33 PM.
05-06-2014, 12:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
In everyday camera stores, a Canon or a Nikon camera is given in buyer's hand before he or she opened their mouth. First tactile contact was Nikon or Canon, their lenses, sales pitch. Pentax stands no chance. Because the clerk gave those first, they appear recommended buys in buyer's head. Buyer has no idea he or she was manipulated but believes was respected.
This is so true. I know a store where they put very fast a D4 or 1Dx in a newby's hand and say that is where the pro's work with who make those awesome images. Feel it, touch it and dream about it. Then they walk out with 700D or D5300. Are happy that they have goals in their life.

Apple started in 2001 with their stores and we are in a time that you bleed to death from the coststructure before even picking up enough new customers.
05-06-2014, 09:36 AM   #11
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Apple and Leica stores succeed because they are iconic brands to start with same with Coach, Hermes, and even Sony.

Pentax is not.

All these examples are from company's with high-margins products that drive the bottom line. Margins as in 30% inclusive of retail overhead.

A Pentax camera would be lucky to have 10% margins excluding an added retail presence and contingent overhead. That is why Pentax has the multi-colour ordering system. It's a store within a store within a web server customization structure. Does it work? I don't know. but what I do know is that a Pentax retail store presence is a non-starter because Pentax could never assume those margins even with hands-on sales. The Limited are not sold by tactile use but by online reviews. A third of all Apple visits to their retail stores are actually Genius Bar, much of which is sunk cost warranty. Apple sells a variety of products so has a vast user base. Ricoh/Pentax sell a single product to a tiny market. Computers are ubiquitous in phones and on desktops. Mid-range cameras (the K-3 is a mid-range) are a single type product in an already saturated market. If Leica sells a lens to a customer they just paid the salesperson's wages for a month. Pentax would need to sell 20 lenses to get there.

Pentax is neither Leica nor Apple. Pentax's best hope for sales lies in sound engineering and market "buzz". Unique products can create their own halo (Ricoh GR, K-3 best in class).

And as a side note, many people lauded Apple's move into retail. Others had urged Apple to increase their presence for ages before Jobs OK'd it.



QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
That is what Dell said to Jobs when Apple's fist store was opened.

Comedy aside, Jobs was right from day one because potential users never had a chance to try an Apple product before buying because dealers were not stocking them!

They went into retail not because of Jobs' vanity, as everyone misunderstood the move, but because of the simple fact that there were less Macs per square retail metre in the US (and in the world) than depleted uranium! Jobs knew all Apple's product were designed superbly, that there are no such products elsewhere, they resonate strongly and create powerful emotional feedback. It was crucial to give those products in hands of customers, let them experience, and that act would change customers mind. That is the short story of their success.

Similarly, there is no chance one would shoot with a Canon camera again if the K-3 or 645Z was there to try, and all limiteds to see. Store presence also reaffirms buyer that company is very serious about its products, and will not disappear overnight. It shows commitment. (Then when I read Thom Hogan advocating Pentax and small companies to stick to online sales, I see complete nonsense.)

Leica faced this same problem, and they still do regular camera stores are not interested to stock their cameras. How can people appreciate cameras, lenses, the quality, the hole Leica story if they have no idea about them and the context of the selling place is entirely wrong? Because it is the truth that people change their mind when observing a real product in front of them and holding it in their hands as opposed to impersonal online shopping which gives no emotional feedback.

In everyday camera stores, a Canon or a Nikon camera is given in buyer's hand before he or she opened their mouth. First tactile contact was Nikon or Canon, their lenses, sales pitch. Pentax stands no chance. Because the clerk gave those first, they appear recommended buys in buyer's head. Buyer has no idea he or she was manipulated but believes was respected.

By now Leica'd be gone, but several years ago they have changed the management and started to think for themselves: issued the 35mm M9, opened stores, etc. Now launching a new system, etc. Stores helped all that.

In today's screwed up economy, having stores is a small company's only ticket to be on the radar of human experience in the real world. Because in economy of large numbers, no one else cares about small companies, and won't stock them. Ricoh Imaging pours lots of efforts to talk to independent camera stores in the west, but I think part of that effort should be used for their own retail presence.

The most intriguing fact with retail outlets is that sales inside them can be small, and one would say, totally unjustified cost? Nope wrong! They should not be treated as separate profit centres rather as a part of the complex sales channel, which often todays ends in online sales. After a visit to a shop, a customer remembers the experience, knows the value, and next time online, a camera, or a lens, will end up in the online shopping cart. Bam! All done, and the retail outlet has fully served its purpose and surpassed the third party camera store inefficiency and their own plots. Retail and online go had in hand. Ask any designer's brand they would all be dead by now if they had to rely only on catalogues and Target to sell their stuff.




---------- Post added 05-06-2014 at 08:28 AM ----------



Not entirely. Akademie is good, but a concept itself is a tactic that Pentax learned a decade or two after the rest of the world. Opening a store is not much of a high philosophy either, and it would show Ricoh Imaging is rather learning fast to live in today's world and has a marketing goal, actually.
I do hope I shall be proven right, because it seems to me stores are next logical step and I can see them in India and in China coming before anywhere else (they have one in Japan).
05-06-2014, 11:00 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
To sum this up: there's now this nice thing called "Pentax Akademie". We're not happy, because they should have brand stores as well. If they'll start having brand stores (doubtful, for the moment at least) we'll still not be happy, because there will be another "must have" thing. There will always be another "must have".
Pentax just can't win.
I'm just gonna leave this here...

05-06-2014, 03:04 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Leica also has Leica Akademie.
That is a nice try from Pentax. But they need to open a Pentax experience store as well. One in Germany, one in France, one in the UK.
Without a shop with comprehensive offer and information, such workshops will look more like guerrilla training grounds in rented basements.
I can count the number of times I've been in electronics brand stores like that on my fingers. They are almost always almost empty, except for the 5-6 in the staff, and more expensive than the mixed brand store next door.

---------- Post added 05-07-14 at 12:07 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
This is so true. I know a store where they put very fast a D4 or 1Dx in a newby's hand and say that is where the pro's work with who make those awesome images. Feel it, touch it and dream about it. Then they walk out with 700D or D5300. Are happy that they have goals in their life.

Apple started in 2001 with their stores and we are in a time that you bleed to death from the coststructure before even picking up enough new customers.
Here you always get the newest beginner m4/3, a D3xxx or a 1xxxxD in your hands, except if you especially ask for the bigger guns. They aim sells at simple, cheap and light.
05-06-2014, 03:40 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Apple and Leica stores succeed because they are iconic brands to start with same with Coach, Hermes, and even Sony.

Pentax is not.

All these examples are from company's with high-margins products that drive the bottom line. Margins as in 30% inclusive of retail overhead.

A Pentax camera would be lucky to have 10% margins excluding an added retail presence and contingent overhead.
Point taken, at least about Apple, and maybe just in reference to their phones and music players. The difference with Leica is that they don't have the enormous cash reserve that Apple has built up from those margins. What makes an iconic product? Coach and Hermes have built a reputation based on craftsmanship, deserved or not, and their prices denote exclusivity, whereas Apple's prices do not low-status companies like Samsung have similar pricing when comparing like-for-like. The cash profit generated by Pentax sales would probably swamp that of Leica, and that's what gives a company the wherewithal to try something adventurous.
05-06-2014, 05:09 PM   #15
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With the whole range of lenses? You could set up a second hand shop next door with shelves and shelves of old M42 glass! But just think what would do to our bargain hunting prices (No, I am not serious.)
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