Say you're a big company in the camera biz. Your brand's grown a little dusty, and competition heats up. If you're like a few companies, you realize where you've gone off-track. You switch from building awkward, robot-looking cameras, and try to inject a little color, ruggedness and quality into your products.
Here I'm thinking of Panasonic, which probably manufactures many digital cameras for other brands, but chose to beef up its own cameras, too. They made water-proof cameras that actually take nice photos. They use Leica lenses in almost every camera. And they often lead the way in innovation, which results in image quality -- which is all that really matters in a camera.
What Panasonic didn't do:
- They didn't sink skillions in a U.S.-only sponsorship for rich white men.
- They didn't decide to cheapen every camera model in their line with chrome paint and plastic bodies that look like metal, but aren't.
- They didn't let a maverick marketing VP build his brand at the expense of the company's brand.
- They didn't blow off making a waterproof digital camera.
- They didn't introduce a camera model with great features, then delete the hot shoe and call the succeeding model an improvement.
- They didn't squander resources talking about "design innovations" that didn't translate into sales.
But, by George, I wish I could.