Nikon School helps sales, stickiness

BENGALURU: Camera and camera accessories major Nikon Corporation Tokyo is one of the major players in the world. Nikon School, an initiative by its 100 per cent Indian subsidiary, Nikon India, helps take better photographs with D-SLR or Nikon 1 camera, whatever be the level of experience of the shutterbug.

Nikon School conducts basic and advanced D-SLR workshops and photo-walks in different cities, which have proved to be big hits with camera owners and photography enthusiasts. Generally within a day or two of an online announcement from Nikon India about an event, all the seats are booked. Usually the size of each workshop is limited to about 25 participants and two teachers.

Not only does the company impart knowledge and help improve skill sets, the teachers also carry with them a variety of accessories, spare cameras and lenses which they lend to the participants to try out free of cost, to touch feel and experience a product.

On the same day, last month, Nikon School organised photo-walks at Garden of Five Senses in Delhi, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali E in Mumbai, The Alipore Zoo in Kolkata and at Nandi Hills in Bangalore. The event welcomed photography enthusiasts from all walks of life irrespective of their professional excellence in photography. These were not just workshops for mere transfer of information but a broader platform to exchange the ideas, gauge the customer insight and carve out an offering in line with the expectation from the brand.

'Many of the participants of our workshops are first time camera owners who have probably bought a basic D-SLR with a basic VR Lens kit, who are unsure about the kind of photography they want to pursue. Once they attend our events, they find their niche, and then based on our suggestions buy the kind of lenses and accessories that suit their tastes,' revealed one of the teachers to during the photo-walk at Nandi Hills near the Garden City of Bengaluru.

Quite a number of the shutterbugs attend more than one workshop, and consult Nikon teachers for camera upgrades, for better accessories, information about procurement sources, etc.

'I have attended five workshops by Nikon Bangalore, and this is my second photo-walk,' revealed an amateur photographer.'Each time I learn something new, there is a lot of fine-tuning of my skills. Photography is a hobby, I don't earn anything from it, but I want to be good at whatever I do,' she added.

'I have seen friends' waste money buying accessories, lenses and cameras that they don't really need. These people at Nikon School have been advising me about what I need, and I have found their guidance very useful,' said another Nandi Hills photo-walk participant.

'We don't suggest any particular store or shop from which to buy Nikon cameras and accessories from, we just guide them to our website and ask them to buy whatever they want from the stores of their choice,' further revealed the teacher. 'Very often, we find that people have followed our advice and purchased the product that we have suggested,' he added. Nikon School is planning to gradually expand into many cities and towns in the country.

In a highly competitive business that is growing with the growth of the young Indian middle class, BTL activities such as Nikon's workshops and photo-walks have been ensuring a small steady stream of sales and stickiness of consumers, which have seen a small, but steadily increasing number of female photographers.

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