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Photography: Exponential Growth of A Dying Industry.

Photography: Exponential Growth of A Dying Industry.

marketing photography

 Ever heard the phrase “Grow or Die”?  Ever heard about an industry doing both.  It’s a fuzzy image.  Read on.  It’ll get clearer.

For the first time in a decade, sales of digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) have fallen, following the trend of other standalone point-and-shoot cameras, which have long fallen prey to improving smartphone cameras.

You’re talking about a 10-15% decline [inDSLR shipments] all over the world. Which is kind of shocking because that market’s been growing double digits for almost ten years,” says Christopher Chute, market intelligence firm IDC’s research director of worldwide digital imaging. 

These folks must need a sharper lens,  improved resolution or less compression on their image because this is a bit misleading.   It’s true that camera sales are decreasing and DSLR sales are definitely down.  But it’s really not shocking.  And it’s not just because of smartphones.  Do you really think that someone’s going to replace their 18MP DSLR outfit with a smartphone camera?  Perhaps some of that downward sloping sales curve of DSLR’s is being taken up with sales of ILC’s (or Interchangeable Lens Cameras or those compact cameras with interchangeable lenses that don’t have a mirror).

Nonetheless, it is true that the camera business is in decline.  And we certainly know that smartphones are fulfilling the prophecy that “the best camera is the one you have with you”.  Perhaps the folks in the camera business need to think about why sales are down and bring to market the type of immediacy, connectivity and transportability that smartphone cameras offer.

The big story is that the photo business is alive and well…. but the camera business is definitely down with a flesh eating virus.  Years ago we could equate the photo business with the camera business.  But no longer.  While the photo industry continues their enchantment in using camera sales as the bell cow, they’re missing the bigger story living between the lines. Maybe it’s a depth of field thing.

The photo business has never been bigger, impacted more people, or been as much a part of day to day life as it is today.  Think about the sales of photo apps, online printing, at home printing, online photo sharing, photo reproduction on just about anything you might imagine.  The real story of the photo business is that it’s death is widely exaggerated.   In fact, the death of the photo business is just a big fat lie.  The business is changing and future success in this market depends on clearly identifying the market.  It is a business of imaging and not just cameras.  The important news is not that DSLR’s are declining.  The important news would be the reasons why.  The blockbuster news would the the development of new products that addressed those needs.  

That is how markets evolve.  Success is driven by those people and those companies who evolve with those markets.

Picture this:

Source: BuzzFeed & Pop Photo

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