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Eyeing Up the Future

01 Jul 2006

Taking advantage of new opportunities in vertical markets is the strategy behind Canon NZ’s appointment of Renaissance Brands as distributor for its consumer imaging products.

Tony Wills, Canon NZ managing director, says his company was looking for a strategic distribution partner.

“Bottom line - Canon NZ is the sales and marketing arm of an international company, that’s where its strength lies. We had the choice to either invest heavily in our own distribution model - to make it as effective as it needed to be - or hand it over to a distributor with that expertise,” he says.

Wills says Renaissance offers more than a logistics operation and both companies are focused on niche markets that have been largely unexplored.

In his experience, says Wills, it’s unusual for two companies to have so much in common.

“We look at things from the same end of the telescope and are excited about the opportunities where both companies have similar aspirations and complimentary technologies.”

For Renaissance the decision to partner with Canon NZ wasn’t taken lightly.

Paul Johnston, Renaissance managing director, says although Canon and Apple have had a relationship for some time it became clear the opportunities were far greater than the sum of the Apple part.

“It’s fair to say this took several months of discussion.

Renaissance really needed to understand Canon’s approach to the market and how it could add value,” he says.

Johnston admits the decision to go with Canon meant Renaissance Brands opted to drop Sony and Epson products as part of its policy not to represent competing products.

“That’s not something you do lightly – Renaissance Brands had good long-term relationships with both those companies.

There’s been a lot of questions from the channel about that decision but when we explain the strategic importance of this relationship 99% of people understand it.”

Johnston is upbeat about the future of the relationship, especially as both companies share the same philosophies and ethical standards.

“Sometimes you just know when the fit is really good. I can see us being able to take a certain part of Canon’s business, develop and enhance it. To be able to take a range like Canon’s simplifies our job, before we were taking a camera from one vendor and a printer from another and, although we could make them work together, it was a hell of a lot more difficult,” says Johnston.

Richard Greasley

Canon product manager

Renaissance Brands

DDI (09) 968 3662

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