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11-28-2014, 06:11 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Look around the industry. You don't grow market share (demand for your product) by doing next to nothing. Maybe in some markets Ricoh is actively marketing. France and Japan are both stronger.
Pentax has long been very Japan-centric in their approach to business, as far as I can tell. During Hoya's ownership an official speaking to financial types said something to the effect that he was simply not interested in the North American market, just not worth the trouble, if I recall correctly (can't find the reference).

Based on what we see here versus reports from users living in Japan, and based on a conversation I had with Jim Malcolm, I suspect RIAC is responsible for developing dealer relationships and marketing efforts all on their own dime. The other Japanese camera manufacturers seem to have a more global view of marketing their products.

After the US Pentax sales force was all but dismantled and dealers royally screwed in the mid-late 2000's it's going to take a while to recover, if it's possible at all.

Ricoh as a company has a much more global mindset than Pentax ever had, but I don't see much change yet in how the Pentax brand is supported in foreign markets. I hope to see a change as I think it's in Ricoh's best interests.

11-28-2014, 06:34 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote
Pentax has long been very Japan-centric in their approach to business, as far as I can tell. During Hoya's ownership an official speaking to financial types said something to the effect that he was simply not interested in the North American market, just not worth the trouble, if I recall correctly (can't find the reference).

Based on what we see here versus reports from users living in Japan, and based on a conversation I had with Jim Malcolm, I suspect RIAC is responsible for developing dealer relationships and marketing efforts all on their own dime. The other Japanese camera manufacturers seem to have a more global view of marketing their products.

After the US Pentax sales force was all but dismantled and dealers royally screwed in the mid-late 2000's it's going to take a while to recover, if it's possible at all.

Ricoh as a company has a much more global mindset than Pentax ever had, but I don't see much change yet in how the Pentax brand is supported in foreign markets. I hope to see a change as I think it's in Ricoh's best interests.
Until recently there were only 3 645 lenses available in the USA. Just this past year Ricoh brought them back to the American market. I see that Ricoh opened a Pentax store in France, so there is some investment there.

In basically 3 years Fuji has moved its products into direct competition with Pentax. Fuji's marketing in the USA has been amazing and a stark contrast to the silence of Ricoh.
11-28-2014, 07:10 PM   #63
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I've seen some new developments in distribution and marketing lately in Columbus, Ohio, which I live a couple hours from, but go there frequently. First, I found a store that I did not know about that was formerly called "World of Used Photography", they dropped used out of the name and carry new, I've seen some new Pentax DSLRs and Q7s there. I don't know if they advertise or not, the store has more Canon and Nikon, but a lot of used everything. Then Midwest Photo Exchange (MPEX) started carrying the 645z this summer. MPEX is a large and very busy store, but until this summer they carried no new Pentax products. This morning I got an email advertisement of their Black Friday sale and I see an ad for a K-50 kit, I was stunned. I also saw here in Pentax Forum where Micro Center (based in Columbus) is selling K-50s as of this week. And I did see a White K-50 in a Target this fall. Not bad in a city where the only place that sold Pentax a couple of years ago was the now defunct Cord Camera, a company that seemed to throw all of their capital in developing and printing and then scrapbooks a few years ago. Hopefully they sell a lot of K-50s and create a need for more products, which I would tend to think is part of the marketing plan. But just getting these stores to carry products is a major step.
11-28-2014, 07:20 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
And he has no idea what their capacity really is or what their plans really are. Its simply a rationalization. Ricoh could be sacrificing chickens and people here would rationalize it as a brilliant business plan.
Please enlighten us.

QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Look around the industry. You don't grow market share (demand for your product) by doing next to nothing. Maybe in some markets Ricoh is actively marketing. France and Japan are both stronger markets for the Pentax brand than the USA. Yes, there is the occasional Pentax banner on a web page. Yes, they run an add in a magazine every now and then. Its is extremely passive marketing compared to everyone else in the industry.
We've been over this. Ricoh chooses not to compete for market share in the high-volume, low margin, high-cost marketing business strategy employed by other manufacturers in the USA. Their USA campaign is planned for later in the evolution of the company (if ever). Building the proper infrastructure in the USA to support and deliver volume on the 'marketing' expenditure you seem to wish for would require far too much capital over far too many years to be a good tactical allocation at this time.

QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
The 77mm lens was just voted the best Pentax lens. If you go buy one right now, the box still says Hoya..... Why? Because they are still sitting on 5 year old inventory. A friend of mine bought one when they had the first sale 3 months ago. If anyone buys a new 77mm that says Ricoh on it, please post a picture. You only need capacity if you are selling product. Ricoh isn't selling enough to have capacity problems. If they were, you would not see the fire sale prices. If product is in demand, and supply is limited by capacity, then prices go up.
As you well know, lenses are manufactured in batch runs and held in inventory for a time - sometimes for years.

As you well know, the last 'run' of the FA Limiteds ended 12/2012. They are not discontinued, but neither are they in active production. The FA77 I just received from B&H November 4th is marked 'Pentax Ricoh Imaging Co., Ltd.' on the box. If you insist, I will photograph my new lens and the box, but I should think my word (and that I noted the fact when I 'announced' my purchase on the 'Late October Deals' thread) would be sufficient.

11-28-2014, 08:19 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mikesul Quote
Well they do market their products with magazine ads, the new Paris store etc. What he said was that their marketing is at an appropriate level for what may be their capacity and plans. Nothing rationalizing at all. I did detect a small bit of wit in the comment as well.
Their capacity and plans? I read many posts on this forum a couple years ago that made emphatic claims that Ricoh was intending to be "a dominant player in the camera business" or something essentially the same. To date, I've seen nothing on the marketing front that seems to support that goal.
11-28-2014, 11:56 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Their capacity and plans? I read many posts on this forum a couple years ago that made emphatic claims that Ricoh was intending to be "a dominant player in the camera business" or something essentially the same. To date, I've seen nothing on the marketing front that seems to support that goal.
An Interview with Pentax Executive Vice President Jim Malcolm - Reviewed.com Cameras

Interviewer:
"So do you see Pentax in the next couple of years being a viable competitor to Canon and Nikon?"

Reply by Jim Malcolm:
"No doubt about it. I have no hesitation, in my mind and in my business direction, that in the future—whether it’s three years or five years out—that there will be three dominant imaging companies on a global basis and it will be Canon, Nikon, and Pentax/Ricoh."

Apparently Monochrome knows more about Ricoh's plans than Pentax USA Executive Vice President Jim Malcolm. Well, we are hitting the 3 year mark now and Ricoh hasn't made much of a showing. Jim is head of Pentax USA, and my guess is that he is in the loop when it comes to marketing plans. Jim's comments are the exact opposite of what Monochrome and other corporate apologists have said. Jim's comment imply a very aggressive short term plan for Ricoh/Pentax to compete with Nikon & Canon on a global level.

Last edited by Winder; 11-29-2014 at 12:26 AM.
11-29-2014, 12:46 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Their capacity and plans? I read many posts on this forum a couple years ago that made emphatic claims that Ricoh was intending to be "a dominant player in the camera business" or something essentially the same. To date, I've seen nothing on the marketing front that seems to support that goal.
And they would be ridiculed from playing that card in their current situation, rightly so.
11-29-2014, 02:13 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
(..) I see that Ricoh opened a Pentax store in France, so there is some investment there.

(...)
I am afraid they did not. They simply authorised the founder of Images Photo, a small French photo retailer network gathering a dozen of outlets, and owner/manager of the Images Photo shop in Lyon, which happens to be quite successful in selling Pentax gear thanks to the dedication of its manager, to open an Images Photo outlet in Paris dedicated to Pentax gear and branded 'Pentax Store - Images Photo'. I presume Ricoh helped him with lending old Pentax gear (including an LX Gold) and may be granting favourable payment conditions on inventory (part of which could even be consignment stock) but that's all.

11-29-2014, 03:38 AM   #69
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[4] マウントが蛇腹式カメラのように前後に移動
New bellow-type camera mount (Honestly, this sounds crazy and I have no idea what this is)

What if this is a dual mount? What if this is the replacement for the Pentax K-01? A collapsible mount for new short flange K mount lenses and a Bellow for the original K mount flange distance... best of both worlds? Use all your pentax glass - no adapter required, but for those times you want a small mirrorless camera buy our new lens. 😊
11-29-2014, 03:59 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gilzuma Quote
[4] マウントが蛇腹式カメラのように前後に移動
New bellow-type camera mount (Honestly, this sounds crazy and I have no idea what this is)

What if this is a dual mount? What if this is the replacement for the Pentax K-01? A collapsible mount for new short flange K mount lenses and a Bellow for the original K mount flange distance... best of both worlds? Use all your pentax glass - no adapter required, but for those times you want a small mirrorless camera buy our new lens. ��
Great minds think alike
QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
Literally: a camera with a mount that can move back and forth like a bellow.

This is a mirrorless camera with a dual-position collapsible mount:

- retracted --> short register --> to be used with dedicated lenses
- extended --> 45.46mm register --> to be used with traditional K mount lenses.
11-29-2014, 04:10 AM   #71
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Probably you can screw in the one for the k-mount and then unscrew it and and screw in the one for the Q-mount and more. Like everyone, I'm also confused.
11-29-2014, 07:29 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
Great minds think alike
Definitely 😊
11-29-2014, 10:07 AM - 2 Likes   #73
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The goal is to be #1 . . . . in 20 years. Not 20 months.

QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Their capacity and plans? I read many posts on this forum a couple years ago that made emphatic claims that Ricoh was intending to be "a dominant player in the camera business" or something essentially the same. To date, I've seen nothing on the marketing front that seems to support that goal.
You are close. Those who interpreted what they think they heard are close. Here's the actual statement:

Jim Maloclm said to me directly, in April, 2013, that Ricoh believes there is room for a third full-line camera company and they intend to be that company over the intermediate term, defined as 5 to 7 years. The goal in the long term, which is 20 years, is to be the #1 camera maker - the dominant player.

You can find the thread I posted shortly thereafter, in which I quoted Jim, on the Q Forum.

When I write Ricoh is doing precisely what they said they intend to do my writing is based upon this conversation (and others I have had with Ricoh employees over the last several quarters). RIAC is doing much better in almost every way than they were two years ago. Apparently, though, they're not doing the things people here expect them to be doing (TV ads, magazine ads, staffing up sales reps, getting store distributions and such), so people here think they're not doing anything.

One thing for sure - they're not trying to be the third CaNikon. To the extent we expect them to do things CaNikon does, we'll think they're not doing anything if they don't do any of those things. However, maybe they really mean they want to be different - to take a different path. If they're doing things on a different path, and we're not looking for those things, then we'll think they're doing nothing.

Or maybe they're just a group of benighted, bad executives who stumbled their way to the 500th largest company on earth. Or maybe they bought Pentax for something other than cameras (such as patents) and they're milking the brand until it dies its own, slow death.

I choose not to believe the latter two possibilities.



Kinda sucks to realiise that Americans are a spoiled, whiny, demanding bunch that a certain manufacturer might choose to move to the end of the growth strategy, doesn't it?
11-29-2014, 10:31 AM   #74
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Oh, there are plenty of whiners from other countries, too!

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Kinda sucks to realiise that Americans are a spoiled, whiny, demanding bunch that a certain manufacturer might choose to move to the end of the growth strategy, doesn't it?
11-29-2014, 11:42 AM - 1 Like   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
One thing for sure - they're not trying to be the third CaNikon.
Then what or who are they trying to be? If they are going to make DSLRs, they are going to be compared to Canon and Nikon. The only way to avoid competing with Canon and Nikon is to get out of the DSLR business.

Interviewer:
"So do you see Pentax in the next couple of years being a viable competitor to Canon and Nikon?"

Reply by Jim Malcolm:
"No doubt about it. I have no hesitation, in my mind and in my business direction, that in the future—whether it’s three years or five years out—that there will be three dominant imaging companies on a global basis and it will be Canon, Nikon, and Pentax/Ricoh."

Your comments are the exact opposite of public statements made by Pentax USA.

What should we believe?
1. You have better inside information than the head of Pentax USA?
2. Jim Malcolm is a liar. Pentax/Ricoh has no intention of competing with Canon & Nikon.
3. Jim is not a liar. He is just ignorant of Ricoh's real plans which they have shared with you, but not Jim.

The interview is asking about the "next couple of years". Not the 20 year plan. Jim's comments imply a very aggressive near term plan for the Pentax brand.

Marketing is about brand visibility. There is no such thing as invisible marketing. The idea that Ricoh is engaged in marketing, but we can't see it is comical.
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