Build Relationships And Gain Loyal Customers
Roger Horn, President, Leica Camera
It is certainly an exciting time in our industry. At Leica, we are looking forward to advancing in today's digital world, while maintaining our commitment to one-on-one customer service and the photographic experience. We look forward to strengthening and enhancing our customer base through our knowledge and the caliber of our product. With that said, we urge photo service professionals in this volatile market to work on building personal relationships with their customers in order to secure return customers and establish themselves as a resource in the industry.
Additionally, we are excited to announce that Leica is focusing on developing a digital M camera that will be released in 2006, in addition to other digital product releases. These new digital products will be designed to meet Leica's standard of quality, precision, and reliability. It is a time of innovation and discovery in our industry, but while Leica moves forward in the digital world, our core value is our commitment to craftsmanship, service, and the photographer's experience.
Improving The Digital Photography Experience
Jim Gustke, VP, Memory Card Business Unit, Lexar
Five years ago, the business was about getting into digital photography. Today, however, it's about digital photography workflow and improving the way professionals and consumers capture, store, and share digital images. Advancements in technology allow digital photographers to capture an unprecedented volume of images, at a rate faster than ever before. As a result, we now have more data than we know what to do with.
Since the beginning of digital, Lexar has kept pace by delivering high performance, high capacity cards that address and work with leading edge camera technologies, such as Write Acceleration (WA). Today, Lexar is focused on creating solutions to streamline digital workflow, and markets memory cards and card readers that solve real problems faced by photographers. One such solution is Lexar's Professional CompactFlash Reader, a stackable, uniquely designed unit that allows images stored on multiple CF cards to be downloaded simultaneously, saving the photographer significant administrative time. Also, Lexar LockTight CompactFlash works in conjunction with compatible digital cameras to create the first ever card level security solution, and soon, the ground-breaking Active Memory system will facilitate communication between a memory card and host devices, eliminating the need for manual and repetitive tasks. Lexar will continue to deliver flash memory cards that improve and enhance the digital photographer's experience.
Go Beyond 4x6
Steve Giordano Sr., Chairman and CEO, Lucidiom, Inc.
2006 is the beginning of a new type of independent photo market—one that centers on value and profits. With new digital options, independent retailers can give up the price war. 4x6 prints are fast becoming a commodities market. Focus on delivering real value and service, not just 4x6s. Emphasize choice and make selling enlargements and other digital photo options core to customer service.
With the new software from leading kiosk network providers, like Lucidiom, retailers can help their customers keep photo memories forever. Customers go beyond 4x6 prints, to enlargements, package prints, passport photos, photo books, DVDs, and so much more. It's a fast, easy way to add high-margin products—margins as high as 75%—to your digital line-up.
Let customers personalize their photos even further. Have them place their photos in greeting card and scrapbook templates for special occasions. If you use software with an open architecture, customers can build their own templates, enhance color, correct Red-Eye and add text.
Giving customers what they want, how they want it, and when they want it is how the independent retailer offers better value.
A Whole New World Of Imaging
Henry Froehlich, Chairman, MAC Group
What the year 2006 can and should be for progressive and profit minded photo retailers, from the perspective of an "old timer," few years have offered greater challenges and opportunities.
We have a whole new world of imaging methods available. The media used by consumers and professionals has changed drastically. The sales channels have morphed into totally different categories.
Consumers who used to be the backbone of many neighborhood and metropolitan camera stores have been tempted to shop in mega marts. Those who graduated into prosumers, have gravitated into gadget loaded electronic centers.
The real pros, whose bread and butter is the taking and selling of their photographic output have learned to rely on the photo specialty dealer, where the knowledgeable staff and product availability can satisfy their ever expanding needs.
The sharp decline in the number of successful specialty dealers has made the surviving community much more efficient and profitable.
It is this surviving community that has been helped by the ever more sophisticated products supplied by firms like the MAC Group. And it is these products that have helped us in training the thousands of students of the booming educational community, whose photographic courses provide the basis for the next generation of customers.