Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/12/02

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Subject: [Leica] Leica marketing
From: Nathan Wajsman <>
Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998 23:34:19 +0100

Remember that marketing consists of the 4 Ps: product, price, promotion, place
(i.e. distribution). I think most of us here agree that while the product is
excellent, Leica falls down badly on the other three Ps. The company will not
survive with just the M6 and R8 plus the two Miniluxes. From my own experience
as a recent convert, I would suggest the following (in case Solms is lurking):

1) Cut the price on the bodies (both M and R). My own experience shows that
Leica is an addiction; once hooked, the urge to purchase new lenses is quite
strong. I started with a M6 and 35mm Summicron in April. The lens collection
has since grown to a 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 90mm and two 135mm lenses. By
cutting the price of the bodies, Leica would entice more people into the
system. Additional lens sales would more than make up for the revenue loss from
repricing the bodies.

2) Expand the range of M to include a reasonably priced M6J-type camera (i.e.
essentially an M3 with a meter). I would personally buy one to use with the
long lenses and keep my normal M6 to use with the wide angles. Best of all: no
development cost to Leica.

3) Also add a water-resistant M6 to the line, a la the Pentax WR
point-and-shoots. With the amount of rain we get here in northern Europe I am
sure it would be a big seller ;-)

4) The need for an autofocus R (of course with backward lens compatibility) has
been stated here many times.

None of these cost much money, except #4. There are many other suggestions that
have been put forward. I repeat that having the best product in the world is
not in itself sufficient for business success, and without business success
there will be no Leica.

Nathan wrote:

> First, there is enough range in the current line. Dont think everyone wants
> a dozen different Leica Cameras to choose from. They make the best cameras
> and that's all there is to it. The world does not need a bizillion models,
> that's marketing BS. Every manufacturer seems to offer a ton of stuff that
> is not needed. Secondly, offering Leica lenses on other cameras is a stupid
> idea. Do you think some budget shopper is going to buy a cheap Jap camera
> and then spend the money for a Leica Lens? Leica quality comes from the
> camera and the lenses. If you have used any M series camera, the action of
> the film lever and shutter is enough to tell you that the camera is
> special.
> So you do not see the "Fun" in making cameras nobody will ever use. That
> aint the point and no one makes you buy them. I think you are complaining
> too much. Companies have long made stuff the public never sees, nothing new
> there.
> RM

- --
Nathan Wajsman
Overijse, Belgium

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