Nikon's 5 year plan...

Started Oct 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
motobloat Regular Member • Posts: 497
Re: Nikon's 5 year plan...

A reasonable approach is scenario analysis. You figure out what are some of the possible scenarios in the future and what are the chances that they occur. These are my guesses:

Scenario 1: Nikon whips things in to shape (10% chance)

  • Nikon cuts emphasis on dying P&S cameras, modernizes production (a la Nikon 1 internals), cuts length of R&D cycle and improves innovation, and meaningfully improves on-camera software (wi-fi, post straight to FB or twitter or whatever, etc.)
  • Nikon produces interesting, relevant, and competitive systems - mirrorless, full frame, DSLR, high-end compact, whatever.
  • Nikon competitively crushes Canon, Sony, Fuji, Ricoh, Samsung, and all the rest by being smarter, faster, and more efficient.
  • Result: Nikon is top of the heap.

Scenario 2: Nikon muddles along, pretty well (30% chance)

  • Nikon gets their act together somewhat, and introduces some new products, and some of them are really successful.
  • Nikon slowly innovates and improves production, design, and software.
  • Nikon is still dogged by long development times, quality control issues, and an inability to cut their losses on P&S cameras nor find a good replacement product that can sell well.
  • Result: this is basically what they have been doing, duopoly with Canon is maintained, but the overall market is smaller than it used to be as more customers migrate away to phones and high-end mirrorless.

Scenario 3: Nikon muddles along, poorly (40% chance) -

  • Nikon just can't keep up the pace of innovation vs. competitors, but their products are OK at least
  • Some high-end customers slowly leave Nikon for more modern/better systems, but occasional good products, and reasonable prices keep most of them around
  • Nikon continues to focus on the old cash cows (SLRs, not mirrorless) and trying to revive the dying P&S market, and the results are middling at best.
  • Result: Nikon is a much smaller company than today.

Scenario 4: Nikon slowly collapses in a death spiral, like Kodak (20% chance)

  • Nikon's new products are flops - too late to market, poorly executed, or not meaningfully different from their existing products
  • High-end customers abandon Nikon's DLSRs for high-end mirrorless cameras (FF like Sony or APS-C like Fuji and the rest) or a competitor's DSLRs
  • Low-end customers continue to abandon P&S cameras for phones.
  • Nikon overproduces, and is left with massive unsold inventory that they must deeply discount, and the low profitability from this discounting means less money left over to invest in R&D, advertising and production improvements. The downward spiral continues.
  • Meanwhile, managerial intransigence means that new ideas are eschewed and the company remains stuck in the mud, focused on traditional SLRs and P&S cameras.
  • Result: Nikon slowly crumbles, and is eventually acquired by another Japanese conglomerate or consortium of investors (i.e. Pentax and Ricoh).
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