Will Nikon be out of business in 5 years?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
Jeff
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Re: Some corrections ...
In reply to rhlpetrus, 11 months ago

rhlpetrus wrote:

All these doomsday predictions look only at trends in the industrialized countries. Surely markets there are not going to grow much and may actually shrink in many aspects. But countries like China, Brazil, India and many others are growing their middle classes. Just the BRIC countries hold about 3 billion people, much more than US/Canada/Europe/Japan/Korea together. Then come other Asian and African countries.

Just an example: I was at my daughter's school festival 10 days ago. It's an upper middle class school here in Brazil. Out of about 150 families, about 15 had dslrs/ml cameras with them. Imagine 10% of, say, a middle class made up of 2 billion people (not impossible in the long run for the whole world). IT's a huge market coming. Companies only have to survive what I see as a stagnant period (not necessarily a decaying one). Not too hard to do, I think.

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Renato.
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Hi Renato,

This is an excellent point, and I completely agree with your other post in this thread where you say analysts often neglect the BRIC and emerging markets.

Not only are these big markets, they are excellent manufacturing and technology bases as well.  It shouldn't surprise anyone when new market competitors arise in the BRIC countries, especially China where so many of the cameras are currently being produced. It's a matter of when, not if.

I'm reminded of a conversation I had 15 years ago with a fellow who was a senior Kodak exec. Kodak thought they should have a much larger share of the Chinese market. So they hired  anthropologists to help them understand what was going wrong with their marketing.  What they found was that photography in China had different role than in the western markets, and their marketing strategy based on western notion of preserving family memories didn't have much resonance in China where photography was viewed as a disposable medium for communications. Kodak subsequently started to make some progress with that insight shortly before getting killed by the digital-to-film transition.

The point is that to be successful in the long haul, camera companies will have to adapt to the changing social role of photography as well as the changing technology. There will always be room for a $1 billion/year company for the conventional pro/commercial market, but who will profit from the $100 billion/year mass market? More photographs are being taken than ever before, by people who are more visually sophisticated than ever before. But you wouldn't know it by looking at the production data from the Japanese camera manufacturers.

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