Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/26

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Subject: [Leica] Leica donation to students
From: leicagalpal at (Kit McChesney)
Date: Sun Sep 26 18:41:26 2004


Good points.  

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Don Dory
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2004 1:44 PM
To: 'Leica Users Group'
Subject: RE: [Leica] Leica donation to students

1) Leica is being true to its workers and staying in Europe.  This has a
large price tag as the Euro has appreciated.  The price increases for
Leica goods have more to do with currency fluctuation than any increase
in quality.  This is one reason the Contax G system is relatively cheap;
it is made in Asia.

[The Euro/Dollar exchange has been largely responsible for the price
increases in the last year. At the same time, Leica must figure out a way to
anticipate these kinds of changes and balance them against costs, however
that happens. Such a price increase has pushed the camera further into the
privileged, elite, status category, by virtue of price.]

2) Leica has been relatively starved for development funds since the
seventies so bringing out something new is pretty hard.  Remember, the
microscopes and other scientific items were split off almost thirty
years ago so there is no other part of the company to carry water for a
money losing part.

[Digital is starting to do this, though built in Asia.]

3) When we talk about expensive, I think that we are talking relative
values.  People think that $4000 is too much to pay for a body and lens
that will last a lifetime. An added bonus is that the combination could
be sold for more than 50% of cost. At the same time the same person
will not bat an eye about paying $1200 or so for an IMac that will be
obsolete in three to five years.  Ipods cost how much for a super CD

[$4000 is still $4000, and $1200 is $1200; its easier to spend the latter
rather than the former, if you are cash-strapped; comparing the two isn't
relevant, as they don't do the same thing. Comparing a $1200 Nikon or
Olympus or Canon to a $4000 Leica outfit is a more apt comparison. Thing is,
most people have a computer AND a camera/lens combo, so the outlay is even
greater, cumulatively speaking.]

4) This is really about perceptions of what cameras should cost.  You
can buy a Nikon N75 for what $239?  A decent P/S digital can be had for
$249.  So when you say a camera costs $4000 you do have to justify why.

[If your Leica market has been paying $1800 for a body in one year, say 2002
(M6TTL) and the comparable replacement costs $2895 two years later, you are
peeling off a significant chunk of your target market.]

5) Leica typically does not SPIF its products so in most camera stores
the sales staff will not pick up a Leica and in fact will try to steer a
customer to a model that pays her/him more.

[They are spiffing these days. A new policy. Not much, but some.]

6) Leica long ago lost its dedicated account managers so no one is
really out there selling the merits of the camera.

[There are regional managers for each territory/region. I have two managers
for the Southwest region--Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, West
Texas, and Arizona.]

7) For Leica to survive, enough new people need to see the tool as
something vital to their artistic needs.  The real question, is how do
new potential users find out about the virtues of Leica cameras.

[Exactly. A new marketing campaign would help. Creative ideas like putting
used models into the hands of students is one idea. Getting the word out on
Leica in whatever way possible is absolutely critical.]

8) Leica should provide (loaners) to college students and or people who
inquire.  These could be scratch and dent models that have been replace
under warranty, cosmetic rejects, whatever.  For some people, the unique
tool that is Leica will sell itself once it is used.

[Ditto for item 7.]

Sorry for the length.

[No apology necessary; it makes a great deal of sense.]


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf
Of Philippe Orlent
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2004 12:42 PM
To: Leica Users Group
Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica donation to students

Leica Users Group.
See for more information

In reply to: Message from dorysrus at (Don Dory) ([Leica] Leica donation to students)