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12-02-2009, 12:29 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by DebLewis Quote
Monochrome.. sounds like your friend just isn't a DSLR kinda guy.. he probably would say the same about a D5000 or Ti..
QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Monochrome, Yes very true. Explaining DOF to him would be (no matter how smart) like explaining a DNA sequence. He just doesn't care or get the reason for a DSLR.
Yes, I agre with you both - but my point is to ask how many entry-level DFL buyers will ever step up to a DSLR - not sure they are really bridge cameras, probably more end-state PnS cameras. Target buyer is someone who doesn't know about or doesn't want creative, manual control. $499 at Amazon is a LOT of money versus $549 at Amazon for a K-x w/ kit lens.

12-02-2009, 01:25 PM   #32
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I don't care what others use, but I got my K-x!
12-02-2009, 01:40 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
That pretty much is the problem, no more store presence.
This is important more specially during the Christmas holidays as when people shop, they GO TO THE STORES.
They look for what is available and buy what they see for their loved ones or for themselves.
They should take into the marketing of McDonald's...He's here, he's hungry..serve him now before he goes somewhere else.

Plus, the more production that Pentax has, the lenses and camera unit prices will go down too!
I don't know about this argument. It is always good to have product in-store, and this stance certainly carries alot of weight...but if the sales people don't push it, is there a real benefit? Retail sales were up 1% over the black friday weekend, while online was up 11% - that is where the real growth is, like it or not. People are getting a lot more accustomed to buying from somewhere like amazon, and being able to send it back for next to nothing (or free) if they don't like it.

All of the busiest threads on the forum here were about where to get the best K-x deal on black friday - it is simply cheaper for the retailer and consumer to direct ship merchandise - as long as the better online retailers don't charge a re-stock fee, you get a free trial (or perhaps the cost of shipping).

One other thing, your Mcdonalds comment made me laugh - I was at subway on sunday night (well, briefly) - tried to get to the door quick but a family of 4 beat me in. Remembering how slow they were last time (and seeing it was the same 2 slothful girls behind the counter), I promptly went to arbys!
12-02-2009, 02:02 PM   #34
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Paul you make some good points.. and certainly internet sales make a huge impact these days, but don't under estimate the human need for tactile input.. now yes I did end up ordering my K-x online.. but before making an expensive purchase like this I hunted one down to pick up and hold before I placed my order.. If I hadn't gone out of my way to find a Kx the path of least resistance would have been a Cannon or Nikon..

12-02-2009, 02:03 PM   #35
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I'm thankful for McBains in my area that allowed me to hold and play with a K-X before making the purchase...... Pentax seroiusly gotta have more retailers that are actually knowledgeable about the cameras.
12-02-2009, 02:05 PM   #36
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Advertising is such an expensive undertaking these days. It's no longer a case of making the public aware of Product X manufactured by Brand A. It's a case of counteracting the publics short attention span. When Canon or Nikon advertise, it's just a reminder of the company name, the product is less relevant. Pentax is no longer a generally recognisable name so if Pentax were to advertise the Kx, it wouldn't matter if Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz were advertising it, people would look just look at the girls and then ask each other "Who or what is Pentax?"
They need to get back in the stores and build up some product recognition before trying to hit the big time.
12-02-2009, 02:32 PM   #37
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At Pentax's current sales volume levels and considering realistic growth, I don't think that a channel strategy weighted towards online sales is necessarily a bad thing. It takes time and money to (re)build a retail channel, something that Pentax doesn't have in abundance right now.

To the point that you need to hold it to buy it - I used to think the same thing about shoes, but my wife and a lot of other people are happily buying shoes (and clothes and other particular items) from Zappos and other online merchants. The key here is customer service and a no-questions-asked return policy.

A build-to-order online model can also work very well - especially if Pentax elects to bring the 100 color options for the K-x to the US. Imagine an online store as engaging as building a Mini Cooper online, and offering high-margin accessories like Eneloop batteries, cases, etc... It works for Dell and Apple. It can work for Pentax.

Finally, I hope that everyone on here is an online ambassador for the brand. I just took the neat ad that someone else posted and posted it to my Facebook profile. It doesn't sound like much, but getting hundreds and thousands of people to do the same can help "move the needle", as it were.

I look at the number of active posts on Photo.net for Canon, Nikon, and Pentax, et. al. The Pentax activity is encouraging - far behind Canikon, understandably, but much closer than you would think considering their single-digit market share. Pentax is also way ahead of Panasonic, Sony, Olympus, and other second-tier players, so there is a lot of passion for the brand. That's encouraging...
12-02-2009, 03:02 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Advertising is such an expensive undertaking these days. . . .
Generalized brand advertising might increase product throughput over the long term, but it reduces unit profit margin in the short term. To "work" in a business sense, advertising sponsor must HAVE volume to generate MORE volume. Think Anheuser-Busch. Lots of Budweiser sales revenue; pays for more ads; generates more revenue; pays for Bud Light ads. Generates more revenue; pays for Michelob ads.

I believe Hoya/Pentax has a strategy to build unit volume by engineering innovative product, creating viral buzz and motivatiing us crazy Pentaxians to build brand recognition. When revenue reaches some threshold we'll see more traditional intergrated marketing/advertising programs. Until that point every marginal dollar seems reserved for product development.

Lens price increases are part of this strategy - making a competitive margin is integral to eventual success. Giving away the best glass at consumer-grade prices is not a strategy - it is a capitulation.

12-02-2009, 03:10 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by DebLewis Quote
Paul you make some good points.. and certainly internet sales make a huge impact these days, but don't under estimate the human need for tactile input.. now yes I did end up ordering my K-x online.. but before making an expensive purchase like this I hunted one down to pick up and hold before I placed my order.. If I hadn't gone out of my way to find a Kx the path of least resistance would have been a Cannon or Nikon..
I certainly do agree that a camera can sell itself in your hand. Of the 4 bodies I have owned in the last 4 years, I personally bought 3 online, and the 4th because of having held it. *ist DL was bought after research wanting an upgrade from a panasonic fz30 (being able to use old lenses seemed like a great plus, which it is...this was of course pre-SR, which is also a huge plus in my book).

K10d sold itself on features and price - I did wait a couple of months and got a good deal w/a dell coupon code, something around $750 with the kit lens.

I wasn't sold on the k20d until I handled it in store (felt like too much of an incremental upgrade). After trying it...I went home and found the best deal I could online (I would never buy anything new from the local shop, but do buy used frequently at least when it is a good deal). I simply won't give my dollar to a store that peddles 2gb memory cards for $35 - or you can 'upgrade' to 2 1gb cards for $5 more...I've seen them say that multiple times with straight faces. I figure if I can bite my tongue for them on that, they can let me handle the merch without the intention of buying. Back to the K20, I felt it answered all of these little intangible things (and likely tangible, such as a tilted VF) - and since it felt like I already knew the camera it was no-brainer.

Finally, the K-x is a beast on features, was able to sell my wife's point-and-shoot to help fund the upgrade and keep the ability to shoot occasional video, all in an amazing little white package.
12-02-2009, 03:15 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Advertising is such an expensive undertaking these days. It's no longer a case of making the public aware of Product X manufactured by Brand A. It's a case of counteracting the publics short attention span. When Canon or Nikon advertise, it's just a reminder of the company name, the product is less relevant. Pentax is no longer a generally recognisable name so if Pentax were to advertise the Kx, it wouldn't matter if Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz were advertising it, people would look just look at the girls and then ask each other "Who or what is Pentax?"
They need to get back in the stores and build up some product recognition before trying to hit the big time.
Agree, throwing in more money into advertising is not the solution is this situation. It is easy for us Pentaxian to say k-x is better than T1i or D5000, but for many would be DSLR owners, the T1i or D5000 is the safe bet for them. Many of them (large percentage) are camera owners who merely use the camera as a Point & Shoot camera. Also, on the other hand, most sales people in the local shop know little about Pentax anyway to make appropriate recommendation.
12-02-2009, 04:08 PM   #41
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We can talk about features and exposure, but I think it goes deeper than that. Even if Pentax were putting cameras in every rinky dink little store, even if they had a mental control module the custom taliored the interface to your preferences, they'd still have the basic problem that unless you're a Pentax fan from way back, or you've entered the market for a fairly expensive gadget with zero preconceptions, Pentax isn't on your radar.

Canon, Nikon, and to a lesser extent Sony, have a wide range of cameras that lead to their SLRs like stepping stones; you might have started out with a POS P&S, then moved to a more advanced model, then a bridge zoom or a serious P&S with manual controls, and finally you're deciding that you maybe want a DSLR. You've always used Canikony, thats what the dude at the camera store is pushing, that's what you're buying. Pentax has a massive chasm between the low end and the high end, so there's not a ton of goodwill from the K-i advanced point and shoot to be transfered to their more expensive cameras, which means they're abstractions to the average consumer. Reviews are good, but we're talking about a chunk of coin. Pentax hasn't been a player in so long that the name carries little weight in and of itself.

If you hit the lotto and rolled down to the showroom to buy a fancy new car, and there's a Ferrari, a Lambo, an Aston Martin and a Hyundai sitting there, which one are you buying? That says nothing about Hyundai. It says something about human nature. No matter how nice, fast, or well appointed that Hyundai is, a lot of people won't even consider it at those kind of prices. Nothing in their experience tells them that they should. Pentax marketing has the uphill battle of saying, 'Even though you probably haven't used any of our other products, please give us a thousand dollars.'

I know it's unconventional, but I think they'd be well served by filling in some of the down market gaps in the lineup, and making it possible to obtain a new, quality, Pentax camera for <$300. And though they've sort of missed the boat on m43, but I don't think any of these cameras produced thus far is quite right, so Pentax could carve out territory there. A sequence of smaller cameras; LX3 sized, GF1 sized, and a big zoom bridge camera, all with Pentax glass and the provision for full manual control would then become a progressive path to the DSLR range. Give them a common UI, and a marketed image of small rugged cameras, for photographers, by photographers.
12-03-2009, 05:35 AM   #42
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I agree, Peter, that some of the issue is marketing, but some is the lack of upper end cameras. There is a strong perception out there that professionals shoot with Canon and Nikon. This comes from their presence in full frame markets, as well as the fact that they have some (amazing) long glass.

I am convinced that a lot of Canon and Nikon's rise to dominance came because of sponsorships of professional photographers. I don't know that giving a kx to Tiger Woods (as you say, bad example right now) would be as worth while as getting some professional photographers at say the Olympic swim trials to use Pentax. Won't happen, because Pentax doesn't currently have the lenses and bodies to do it, but I think that would make a big difference.

Product placement is important as well. I don't think the K7 can be every where, but certainly getting Walmarts to stick a Kx on their camera counter along with the Nikon D40, etc would boost sales.
12-03-2009, 06:33 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
68deluxe, Sorry I disagree. Do you really think that a new or entry level buyer cares one bit if there's a red dot in the center of the screen? Nope not at all. They don't even know that some cameras have this.
there was a wink after my comment for a reason.

your sarcasm radar requires recalibration!

QuoteOriginally posted by arpaagent Quote
No one cares about this except Pentax fan-boys and haters. Entry level buyers want to use the live view LCD screen for composition anyways, until they learn that optical viewfinder is way better after they buy the camera.
yours does too!

Last edited by 68deluxe; 12-03-2009 at 06:39 AM.
12-03-2009, 07:14 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote

Product placement is important as well. I don't think the K7 can be every where, but certainly getting Walmarts to stick a Kx on their camera counter along with the Nikon D40, etc would boost sales.
I find it interesting that stores like Walmart (and to a lesser extent Best Buy) carry Pentax SLR products on their websites, but not in their stores. That screams "niche" brand more than anything to me. As others have said, though, it is the "feel" of the camera that sold me. Funny how branding is a double-edged sword as when I see someone shooting a Rebel, I assume that they probably have no idea how to use their camera other than as a "big" point-and-shoot.
12-03-2009, 07:49 AM   #45
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online ambassadors

I think John got it right. Retail distribution is expensive, and Pentax cannot win that battle fighting Canon and Nikon where their huge marketing budgets are a tremendous advantage. Guerrilla marketing tactics are called for.

The good reviews of the K-x and K7 give Pentax a rare opportunity to get some online viral marketing. The k-x cool colors can really help as well; they standout from the crowd visually.

As John said, we can all help by including Pentax k information in our Facebooks, Twitters, web photo galleries, etc... (note to self - practice what you preach)
I am always influenced by user reviews on the web stores like Amazon, Newegg, etc..., so we can all contribute with honest, positive reviews.

This forum is what sold me on the K-x. When I went to the Pentax USA website, I got almost nothing about the camera beyond the spec sheet and the short demo. The manual wasn't even available (it's there now.) So I had to dig for answers on DPreview forums and luckily found this forum and all the helpful Pentax fans.

Pentax really needs to step up the web marketing and web support. They need much more on the support and promotion side. Web marketing is very cheap compared to print, radio or TV. You pay for content once. Not for every impression.

Ned's blog and the internally produced videos are great and don't cost much at all. They need more though, and they need to be linked to the Pentax website.

I don't know about other country sites, but Pentaximaging.com (USA), needs to link to all the support material and create more. Manuals, FAQ's, tutorials (is there anything from Pentax on using their software?) At least link to all the good reviews and Pentax communities.

I agree with John about retail. No local presence is a big negative, but I think Pentax will have to live with it. Camera specific stores are getting very rare now anyway, so many people will buy over the web. Not all, but Pentax can grow immensely without covering every buyer profile. If they just do really well in the web segment, they could grow a ton.

QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
...
Finally, I hope that everyone on here is an online ambassador for the brand. I just took the neat ad that someone else posted and posted it to my Facebook profile. It doesn't sound like much, but getting hundreds and thousands of people to do the same can help "move the needle", as it were.

I look at the number of active posts on Photo.net for Canon, Nikon, and Pentax, et. al. The Pentax activity is encouraging - far behind Canikon, understandably, but much closer than you would think considering their single-digit market share. Pentax is also way ahead of Panasonic, Sony, Olympus, and other second-tier players, so there is a lot of passion for the brand. That's encouraging...
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