Junichi Miyasaka, Consumer Product Development Headquarters Yasuko Nunokawa, Global Strategic Marketing Division Koichi Matsuzaki, Manager, Overseas Sales Division.
The selfie culture isn’t as big in Japan as it is in China, so how did a Japanese brand end up dominating this market, and why hasn’t it taken off in the West?
MATSUZAKI: Maybe the movement is not as big as in China, but Japan also has its own selfie culture and users. Since the release of the first TR; TR100, we have been watching the whole Asian market and developing the TR’s functions as a selfie camera to meet them.
Now, of course selfie culture exists in the West as well. However, our market research found that Asians are more receptive to selfies, and (our) make-up mode is very popular with them, as compared to the West. As such, we chose to focus on the Asian countries.
How come there haven’t been more Chinese competition on their home ground?
MATSUZAKI: There were similar products in China in the past. However, it seems that the makeup quality from those products are not as good as that of the TR series. As a result, the Casio TR cameras still remain competitive in the market.
The design of the TR Mini makes it dedicated for selfie. Isn’t this too limiting for a product that shares similar features with the standard TR range and other Casio models?
MIYASAKA: The TR-M11 was released (specifically) to focus on self-portraits; to create new photo-taking possibilities for a broader group of users.
To integrate these functions as well as differentiate the TRM11 from the TR80, TR-M11 has additional features such as the LED ring light which resulted in the round shape compact design that was adopted for the camera.
NUNOKAWA: Our digital camera lineup is divided into different segments with different concepts, and the make-up modes in each camera (actually) have different features.
The TR series provide the best selfie quality that only exclusive selfie gadgets can offer. The ZR series is a general model with all-round purpose and a flip up monitor for taking selfies easily, while the FR100L has a 16mm wide lenses to take full body shots with beautiful backgrounds.
As for the existing TR80, we have and will constantly enhance beauty photography as the top of the line selfie model within the TR series. It is also equipped with a 360-degree swivel, making it easier to capture beautiful shots from all angles. The TR-M11, on the other hand, is more focused on self-portrait photos.
So, the strategy is to indulge a cultural trend instead of compete in the specification rat race. Is this how Casio has been able to stay ahead even in the face of the smartphone camera threat?
MATSUZAKI: We intend to constantly innovate in terms of product development coupled with customer feedback, needs and demands to create new selfie cultures and lead the market.
"We hope to constantly innovate and improve our selfie cameras to create a new selfie culture."