Leica vs. Canon Camera

Leica vs. Canon Camera


With the increasing use of personal cameras in the world, competition among different brands are on the rise in the global market. In particular, the digitization of photos has put more emphasis on quality pushing the camera manufacturers to use the latest technology in making their cameras. The 21st century has seen increased sales and use of cameras among the different age groups as the focus on keeping memories has remained afloat. Powerful marketing through advertisements is a viable option for companies to maintain their competitiveness. In this report, two adverts from two of the largest competing companies will be analyzed. The report pits Leica Camera against Canon camera. The focus of this assessment is to measure the suitability of the two adverts in terms of the common marketing principles. Ultimately, a critique of the two adverts will be made and recommendations for improvements givens.


Who, What, Why, When, Where

The two adverts utilize the powerful influence of social media to influence people into using their product. While Leica is focused on targeting the entire market in general, Canon specifically focuses on Japanese market. Both advertisements are however floated on the Youtube platform to mostly reach out to the youth who are considered more tech savvy. Leica’s advert is 02:03 seconds long and is aimed at the general market. In contrast, Canon’s 02:15 long advert is more specific on its audience as it targets the Japanese market. In fact, the advert starts with a caption describing the Kamakura city as the ‘City that Cameras love’. The intention of Leica’s advert is to commemorate the 100 years of Leica’s existence and to show the dominance of the product over the years. It is packaged in a way that encourages its use to capture all the moments of life. Canon’s advert, on the other hand is floated to increase its use in Japan by focusing on the unique values of the Japanese culture. While the advertisement by Leica is done one hundred years from its invention, Canon’s advert does not commemorate a specific function. Both advertisements are focused on informing selling by stressing the unique features of the two different camera brands. While Leica banks on the traditional use of photography, Canon banks on quality to entice customers to use its brand.


Consumer Buying Process

The consumer buying process is an important strategy in packaging the marketing to suit the needs of the specific customer. Assuming that consumers will just decide between buying and not buying is as catastrophic as not marketing the product in the first place. It is in the business’ interest to identify and utilize the customer buying stage before making an advert. From the manner in which the advert is packaged, it is clear that Leica’s advert is in the first stage of the customer buying process; problem identification. The company intends to increase the number of users by associating its brand with the many instances that require photography. By showing photograph taking as a cool thing that is done almost in every person’s daily life, the advert identifies new uses for its camera brand. On the other hand, the Canon’s advert is in the second category of consumer buying process. It is packaged to suit the needs of the consumer in the process of searching for the information on the product. The company markets its brand as a world leader emphasizing on its quality and actually showing that in the process. The simple nature of the advert pitting a common girl going round taking quality photographs persuades the consumer that their brand stands out among the rest.


Marketing Mix

Every company should understand its target market well before floating a product to ensure its suitability. Not understanding the market well is suicidal and can lead to huge losses on the part of the company. Camera companies know this for a fact all too well as is evidenced in the two adverts. The adverts utilize the elements of product, place and promotion in capturing the attention of the consumer. Price is a notable absentee in the advert for many reasons.



Leica’s advert communicates the product in detail and shows the consumer the advantage of having the product. By portraying the product as usable in all the many instances in life, the advert communicates a brand that can be used by virtually everyone. It shows a brand that is sensitive to the various segments of society and that meets that many diverse needs of all the different segments. The advert shows the development of the camera since its inception and how it has maintained its use over the years. In particular, it summarizes by saying that it ‘invented’ photography in the sense that its inception was the beginning of quality photography. The advert is therefore effective in portraying where and how the consumer will use the product.

In Canon’s advert, the product is also exhaustively covered with an emphasis on its brand. The advert packages the brand as standing out among the many other brands due to its quality. It shows that it is the ideal camera brand for the Japan market and that it is practical in all the many Japanese cultural values. As thus, the product captures the many things that define Japanese culture and sceneries that captivate Japanese people. In so doing, the products feature are magnified and thus showing the need for use of the product by the consumers in Japan. Moreover, the advert shows how , where and when the consumers can use the product.



Despite the importance of the pricing aspect in advertisements, both the cameras do not incorporate this aspect in the marketing mix. However, the reasons for not showing the price on the advert far outweigh the benefits of having the price on the adverts. The decision not to include the pricing of the two products is influenced by the stages in the consumer buying process that the customers are at. It is therefore not necessary to put the price as the consumers are not interested in that at the time. The camera brands cannot be compared based on their prices because they have different features that must first be accentuated before the aspect of pricing is brought on. The emphasis is on creating a brand that is sellable before introducing the price. In addition, the advert is not of one product from the two different companies but for a range of many other camera brands within the companies. It would not therefore be suitable to list the price of one brand to cater for the others. The two companies seem to agree on the fact that the element of price can be catered for by another advert.  In any case, the decision of which brand to price and which not to would be a difficult one. It is not surprising, therefore, that both adverts decide to overlook the price element.



Just like price, both adverts have no distribution strategies pointed out in the adverts. The adverts fail, perhaps intentionally, to give out information about their methods of distribution. The reason for this situation is the fact that providing such information would be limiting in itself. Leica and Canon are brands that are stocked by distributors, some of whom they themselves do not even know. If the companies were to list some of the leading store that stock their products, the consumers would mostly focus on those in the list and not buy from other stores. The effect of this profiling would be to reduce the sales as consumers would think that the brands in other stores are counterfeit.



The two adverts are keen on promoting their product in a manner that is associated with the consumers. Leica’s advert is not specific on any one person in carrying out the advert but focuses on many people that are deemed as having used the product. In this respect, the product is promoted as fit for all the different segments of the society and therefore practical for many photograph moments. The advert captures scenes of the different sections of the society from the young people to the old people. Moreover, it even incorporates fashion in the advert by showing photos of model that are taken using the Leica camera. This has the effect of widening the market of the product as a whole.

Canon on the other hand uses the image of a beautiful young lady to promote its product to the people it targets. Its market in Japan is particularly enticed by using a Japanese lady that is seemingly beautiful. The use of the lady in the advert communicates a brand that gives one confidence in executing their tasks due to the precision involved. The many scenes in the advert also encourage the use of the brand as it captures virtually all the sceneries that would captivate a Japanese national.



The desire and yearn to fulfill a certain need is what drives ones motivation. In this respect, the customers must feel obliged to use the camera brands for them to even consider buying the products. The business companies must be able to appreciate this fact in identifying their target market. The business companies cannot therefore expect customers to fulfill their feeling of hunger by buying luxury items for instance. The need for a product must be driven by a motivation to acquire the product. Identifying this motivation is therefore an integral aspect of the marketing process. In addition, the process of marketing can increase the consumers’ motivation for a certain product based on how the advertisement is packaged. For instance, camera manufacturers can package their adverts to portray the cameras as a need and not a luxury thereby making even the least affluent people to at least want to have the product, if not buying.

The need to take photographs is a secondary need that is not innate and is not a requirement for sustainable existence of humans. It is driven by the need to capture memories of certain vents in the lives of the people. In the western culture, the habit of taking photos is well inculcated meaning that people find it useful to have cameras all the time. It is quite rare for one to go on an expedition without carrying their camera. In the same way, Japanese nationals consider taking photographs a cool thing especially when they are travelling.

According to the hierarchy of needs that was proposed by Maslow, the need for camera falls under the fourth band that is ego needs. The theory of motivation suggests that ego needs can only be met after physiological, safety and security, and social needs have been met. Ego needs fall just below the self actualization needs in the hierarchical order of the needs. The need for camera is driven by the desire for prestige, status and self-esteem. People will therefore feel the urge to possess such items as cameras on a personal level after they have met their more basic and primary needs.

However, this classification is not to say that people cannot buy cameras before they meet all the other needs in the lower segments of the pyramid. Rather, the theory is only a generalization of the trends that are prevalent among people. Moreover, with the increasing dependence on cameras to capture memorable events and scenarios, cameras may well e considered a social need. It is the responsibility of the marketers to package their products in such a manner that prioritizes the acquisition of such products even before other needs are met in the lower sections of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.



Every product is perceived differently by the consumers and potential customers depending on what they know or not know about it. The manner in which the consumers view the product is important in the strategies that the company applies to market the products. The product’s marketer should be able to convince the consumers that the product is necessary within a certain sphere of needs. This coercive power is necessary in at least persuading the customer to consider buying the specific product.

The perception of cameras among customers is dependent on the price and the quality of the product. Leica is considered a camera of high quality and that is relatively affordable to the people. The many brands that the company has in store are testament to this fact with each brand catering for a different target market. The perception of customers on the product is visible in the advert through the many types of scenery that are portrayed in the advert. This means that it identifies with many different consumer segments in the world.

Canon on the other hand is a very high quality camera brand with high price in the market. It is not considered for all markets and is associated with class. Customers do not therefore consider the issue of price when buying such a product but rather the quality of the photographs taken. The perceptions of the customers are shaped in the advert as the company concentrates on the quality of the photographs taken.

The perceptual map is an graphical illustration of the consumers perception towards a certain product. Marketers of these products use the perceptual map in shaping the advertisements to suit the  different market needs and perceptions.  It is the perceptual market that states the position that consumers associate the specific brands in the market. It is therefore necessary that part of this perception is based on true information. The strength of perceptions in working for or against companies brands is necessary and it helps the marketers to package their products in a more convenient fashion. Marketers have a specific perception that they intend the consumers to have about their products. This perception is accentuated in the adverts that are aired about the products.


Critique and Recommendations

The advert by Leica is poor in the fact that it does not segment the market. As seen in the advert, the company targets the entire market as one and fails to target a specific portion in the market. This is different from the Canon advert that targets the Japanese market specifically.  The disadvantage of not having a specific market is that consumers may all assume that they are not the intended market therefore leading to poor sales. Moreover, the advert from Leica fails to identify the distribution strategies in the market. It gives no leads on the main stores where its products are stocked thereby leaving customers that do not know of it clueless. The advert seems to assume that customers will just know the product from its name and buy it. However, this is not usually the case especially with so many camera brands in the market. In addition, the failure to incorporate the element of price in the advert is also a limitation in that it may pull customers away from purchasing the product.

Although both adverts are in order and somehow manage to entice their target markets, Leica advert can be improved if the missing links are added. The company can have different adverts for the different market segments that are available and concentrate on marketing their brand for the specific markets. In addition, the integration of the pricing aspect in the marketing mix would work to its advantage since its is relatively cheaper. The company should also include the element of place in the marketing mix to show the wide diversity of its products in the stores worldwide. This can work towards making the product much more marketable.



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