An Explanation of Nikon's bizarre marketing practices
This is from photographylife.com post on the "A." Perhaps this explains what seems, on the surface at least, to be completely crazy strategies. Food for thought.
I don’t think that there is a management problem here at all, in fact I think the exact opposite is true. I used to work for Nikon’s marketing engine not too long ago, so please don’t think this opinion is biased. What I saw when i worked for them was this, especially as of late: Nikon releases an awesome product (D7000). It wins awards, accolades, and such. Roughly around the same time they release another product (1 series) that caters to a completely different demographic, in this case mainly female enthusiasts. The product doesn’t do well at all, due to the price. In order to flush their inventory, Nikon cuts the price almost in half to make way for the updated product (J3). Now Nikon is left with an abundance of sensors that they over-ordered for D7000 sales. They got cheaper for Nikon to purchase over the years, so they figure you can’t have a camera without a sensor, right? They begin to build new camera models around the sensors themselves. Now comes the time to update the parent camera body for the same sensor, in this case the D7000. The D7100 is released, but Nikon still has a lot of the older sensors left over. So what do they do with them? The design a new camera that houses the old sensor that fits between the two demographics they were focusing on with the D7000 and Nikon 1 series. They keep the price high, so it doesn’t sell off immediately. This attacks Nikon surplus from a few different angles. First, it rapidly gets rid of their in-house inventory of the 16.2 MP chips and puts them on the shelves. A chip in a warehouse without a camera body can’t sell, besides a lot of major resellers that are licensed to sell Nikon are, in fact, under contract to buy a specific quantity of new products when they are released. The Coolpix A is marketed to those who want a higher quality camera than the 1 Series, but don’t want a bulky DSLR. Hopefully with the few Coolpix A’s that sell at full price, it will cover the gap of loss over they newly discounted D7000. The major thing this price point does? Gets all the Nikon J1s, J2s, V1s, and V2s off the market, never to be seen on the shelves again. Once the majority of the inventory for the older Nikon 1 series has come down to an acceptable level, the Coolpix A will drop to about $750-800 around Christmas 2013. I expect it to drop around the $500 range by summer of 2015 before Nikon releases a new flagship compact. I’ve seen this with other models before, especially the D60 vs P7000 vs P7700 lineup. Sometimes Nikon produces cameras that they never intend to sell. They just use them to keep their name on the market and to fund other designs and current R&D. Remember, just because customers didn’t buy the camera, it doesn’t mean that Nikon didn’t make money from the retailer.
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