The managers at DigiSnap emphasized on this characteristic and drastically reduced operational costs, to culminate with a 22% reduction in the retail price. The endeavor gained them increased numbers of customers and a wider market coverage.
7. Product Strategies
We have placed increased emphasis on the four elements of the marketing mix -- product, place, promotions and price. The retail prices were established based on the variable pricing strategy, which sees that the costs to the final buyer will change whenever the expenditures incurred in the manufacturing and sale of the digital camera modify. Focus Point is able to implement such a strategy as it is already a strong presence within the market which bases its actions on sustainable financial figures. As a result of this, we do not have to allure customers through penetration pricing strategies, nor increase our revenues on the short run by implementing skimming pricing strategies. However, we do offer promotional prices and discounts up to 25%. These actions have further increase the loyalty and satisfaction of our customer base.
An important goal relative to the product was that of developing a wide selection of digital cameras that would satisfy the needs of both novice as well as expert photographers. Focus Point is proud to recognize that, throughout the course of the past decade, this objective has been successfully completed. The company now presents its audience with no less than 50 models of digital cameras. The simplest models are based on the functionality specifications of the traditional cameras and have large screens that allow the buyer to preview the image to be photographed. The average retail price of these types of cameras does not exceed $150. 65% of the total revenues are generated by the sale of these cameras. As the models develop and are more suitable for professional developers, their applicability increases and so does their price. The most expensive digital camera sold by Focus Point reaches a final price of $4,500 and the company sells an estimated 2000 such products per year.
The product offering is extremely wide, covering cameras that take pictures, tape films or do both. The majority of the products offered by Focus Point ten years ago would simply take pictures or record videos. Today's items however can do both; and most importantly, we are able to assure the high quality of both videos and images constructed with our cameras. The technical specifications have also significantly increased as a direct result of major technological investments. Prices have been aligned to those offered by other digital camera manufacturers with a twofold purpose -- ensuring competitive prices and gaining the interest of customers, and secondly, generating increased shareholder value and maximizing the revenues for our investors. Throughout the entire period, the product strategies are estimated to have contributed to a 15% increase in the overall profitability. It must also be mentioned that all product strategies have been developed and implemented in full accordance with the legal stipulations and with the vote of the Board.
The functionality of the digital cameras remains the one basically established ten years ago, with the specification that additional applications have been introduced, such as better focus (automatic or manual), ability to zoom in and out several times, increased numbers of pixels, increased data storage, connectivity to computers and so on. The styling has also changed and the cameras became smaller and more modern looking. Repairs and support services have expanded; warranty was increased; more safety features were introduced and several accessories and complementary services or products were also made available (Net MBA, 2007).
As mentioned previously, Focus Point has made several investments in technologies. The rationale for these strategies lays in the rapid development of the it community and integrates in the company's overall strategy of aligning its endeavors with market and industry trends. In this line of thoughts, the company has created its own research and development team, whose aim is to continually integrate the latest technological advancements into the Focus Point digital cameras. The R&D team continually communicates with the marketing team which offers them the customers' feedback on any new features they would like to have incorporated in the products. It can be then concluded that relative to product technologies, Focus Point has achieved its established desiderates, and more. The most notable technologies that have been introduced to further improve the applicability and quality of the Focus Point digital cameras include:
DIGIC III, iSAPS, Face Recognition Detection AF/FE and the Ultracompact Lens Unit -- these four technologies are integrated in the compact digital cameras, purchased by novice photographers and praised for their high definition images and easy usage and portability (Website of Canon Inc., 2009)
Memory sticks -- used in all types of cameras and functioning like small hard disks, this technology allows users to make and store thousands of photographs in their cameras
Multimedia technologies -- mainly used to conduct several actions, such as take photographs but also record videos
USB sticks that allow users to connect the camera to a laptop or personal computer
Raw technologies which allow users to take a raw photograph, and then modify in on the computer, such as reduce the red eye effect or other flaws (Atkins, 2003).
The company continues to maintain its operational structure as that of a decade ago. In this order of ideas, manufacturing and assembly operations are still concentrated in Taiwan, from where the digital cameras are shifted to Europe-Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and North America. The four regional centers continue to operate in Italy, Singapore, Brazil and Canada, from where the company controls its overall sales agenda. Despite the mentioning that modifications would not occur in this instance, the experience of the previous years has however imposed the need for one modification -- the four regional centers are not only in charge of sales operations, but they also come to make significant contributions to the design process. Given that these employees interact directly with the customer, they retrieve valuable feedback which is then transmitted forward to the R&D team and integrated in the process of product design.
Manufacturing and assembly operations remain based in Taiwan due to the cost efficiencies this region offers. However, a specification has to be made in that the company's recent growth and development might require the opening of a new plant. It is yet uncertain whether this new plant would be opened within Taiwan (or another emergent country) or within the United States. The U.S. is currently facing the challenges of the internationalized financial crisis and the creation of new jobs would be welcomed by the federal government, which could even offer Focus Point financial advantages. A decision will be reached during the following board meetings.
10. Porter's Five Forces
The elements in Porter's five forces have suffered few modifications from the stage they were in the previous decade. However, the mentioning of these features is important in placing our company within the market. In this line of thoughts:
the pressure from the competition due to rivalry remains increased, but Focus Point has revealed its ability to overcome competitive strategies and consolidate its positions the industry poses reduced barriers to entry, meaning that the threat of new entrants is increased; Focus Point has managed to overcome this threat and has consolidated its leading position in spite of the emergence of new digital camera manufacturers the threat of substitute products is also increased, but we have built on our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, which paid off finally, the bargaining power of suppliers is increased as it could generate alliances that pose threats for out company; we have however managed to avoid such situations
11. SWOT Analysis
The analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats we are faced with today contains common elements with the SWOT analysis of a decade ago. Nonetheless, it is also spiced up with new elements and the consequences of the strategic courses of action implemented throughout the past recent years. This then means that a better understanding of our contemporaneous status within the market, industry, as well as in the eyes of our customers, employees and shareholders requires a reanalysis of the core elements, the weak features, the external opportunities as well as the external threats.
Loyal employees and customers, which generate reduced personnel and marketing costs, increasing as such the levels of corporate profitability
Improved position within the local and international markets
Increased competitive strength
Wide offering of high quality products, backed by high quality services
The processes of organizational change undergone throughout the past years have taken a toll on the company's stability
Some financial indicators (mostly the earnings per share indicator) are weaker that initially estimated and have failed to maximize shareholder value
Rapid development of technological appliances, which could be integrated within the new digital cameras to generate increased sales and attract…