When product technology led differentiation can be competed away in months, the market comprises indistinguishable competitive product arrays and consumers struggle to create satisfying output, you have just described the digital video market of a few years ago.
Consumers do not grow up experimenting with film making in the way they do with photography. The most common purchase occasion for video cameras is often the birth of the family’s first born. What starts out as a confusing discussion at the technology store, includes hours of frustration at the computer and often ends with a disappointing film output that never lives beyond it’s initial family screening. Video camera usage often suffering the same fate.
Canon wanted to change the game. They knew the solution was bigger than features and benefit lists and technological superiority presenting us with an inspiring if somewhat daunting challenge.
We were tasked with helping to develop the strategy that would position the Canon video brand as empowering consumers to create memorable and rewarding films. Canon’s strategic ambition was to become brand leader in a market they had previously trailed third or fourth.
Educating consumers and encouraging behaviour change in the area of new technology consumption requires substantial commitment to education and training. There were already several self-teach books on the market in film-making. However our research showed these books had lost their consumers in techno-babble by the end of the first chapter. Canon’s approach and our work had to be different.
Luckily film making experience within the agency was well established at both professional and enthusiast level. With this as our starting point, we were able to unpack every stage of customer experience from product selection, through film shooting and clip creation to final editing and sound management. Using insights from previous Canon research projects we developed an original and instructive resource that was distributed free of charge to all new purchasers of Canon videos. Some 12 million copies in twelve languages. A serious commitment to shift consumer behaviour by any benchmark.
This strategic initiative was viewed with considerable enthusiasm by both consumers and the trade. By empowering the customer to cut-though the jargon and create rewarding memories on film, Canon were seen as working to enhance the video consumption experience adding value at critical pain points in the consumption journey.