Why Fuji would do good to support the X100

Started Jan 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Bram Bos
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Why Fuji would do good to support the X100
Jan 30, 2012

I have been thoroughly surprised at the level of defensiveness and sometimes outright aggression that is expressed whenever an X100 owner suggests Fuji should fix some of the well documented problems and bugs of the camera.

There are several reasons why Fuji should consider giving us another software update for the X100.

1. Known problems should be fixed

There are still quite some inherent problems with the X100. Things that don't fall in the "it's a quirky feature" category, but go squarely into the "this is a bug" box. Most of these are well documented and one could argue that the camera was sold with a defect - albeit a software defect.

2. It's marketed as a professional product

For a camera that is being sold as "the professional's choice", Fuji have remained disconcertingly mum on the subject of support. Professionals typically rely on their tools for their work and need the reassurance that the supplier understands their needs and supports this with a corresponding service model.

The sticky aperture blade debacle showed that Fuji do not understand that professional service means more than just a quick repair-job; it's also about building a lasting relationship with the people who rely on their products. Showing continued support (even if minimally so) and being open about potential problems and available solutions are as important as anything. Their silence has caused quite a bit of anxiety and uncertainty with X100 users who feel their camera is not unlike a ticking timebomb that could blow up at any moment. Not a good start if your aim is to make people fall in love with your brand.

3. New marketplace paradigm

In the old days businesses only focused on the moment of purchase. A customer paid his money in exchange for a product in a box and that was it. That is old-economy thinking. In the new economy, successful companies understand that every touchpoint in the 'customer journey' has potential value. Their business model becomes much more like an end-to-end service model where the aim is to build a long-term relationship with the customer. These customers feel understood and pampered and are much more likely to come back and -better yet- become promotors for the brand.

Fuji need to understand that continued support for the X100 does not mean we will be less inclined to buy the X200. Quite the opposite, actually. And in the global internet age, there is nothing more valuable than a large group of vocal supporters who are passionate about your brand.

4. Forced obsolescence should be frowned upon

Regardless of how many old-fashioned electronics companies do it, in this day and age it is neither sustainable nor acceptable to replace an entire camera (which could still function fine for many years) simply because a manufacturer decides it's too lazy to fix problems in its software. We've come to a point where digital cameras are good enough to last us many years without a need to 'upgrade' and we should demand manufacturers to support their products accordingly - in the form of a premium service model if needed.

1950s style consumerism (be a good consumer! buy buy buy!) is a thing of the past that doesn't fit in today's world anymore (especially in these times of crisis and scarcity). Even a company like Apple supports their iPhone with new software for 2-3 years. There is no reason why solid, well-crafted, premium products like the X100 shouldn't be supported for such a period of time. This is not a disposable camera, it's built-to-last.

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