How to go from 0 to 4 in 12 months
Kino Precision Industries was a supplier to Vivitar.
manufactured the Vivitar Series 1 lenses for 35mm SLR cameras. These
Series 1 lenses were very good quality and highly regarded in the
marketplace. Kino was a proud company, and like most Japanese
manufacturers in the 70s and 80s, wanted to provide continuous
employment to their people. But Vivitar was unpredictable: starting
and stopping orders, changing specs, and even subcontracting other
companies to make some Series 1 lenses Kino felt they could make
send a message to Vivitar and to 'smooth out' their production flow,
Kino created their own brand -- Kiron -- and hired some industry
veterans to launch the brand in the U.S.
Paul Ellis and Dick Wolf carefully selected suppliers -- from the
company that did their packaging to their ad agency. They selected
Chiat/Day, and I was chosen to run the account.
Kiron was a new name in a field of 64 camera lens marketers, we had
to establish credibility quickly. We chose a communications approach
that was both 'aspirational' and mentoring. By aspirational. I mean
that the images we showed were the kind any creative photographer
might aspire to take. The images were intended to stimulate
creativity. And the copy was to be written to instruct without
appearing to instruct, i.e., "as you know, larger f-stops result in a
shallower depth of field."
All of the ad headlines started with "How to...". In 1980, Chiat
/Day created five ads for Kiron. At that year's regional Belding
Awards, four of those five ads won in their category -- literally an
unprecedented sweep of a tough competition.
More important, the credibility of the Kiron management, combined
with a great program of point-of-sale materials, outstanding
packaging and an aggressive advertising schedule got Kiron on the
shelves in camera stores all over the U.S., so when the ads started
to 'pull through', the products were there to sell.
I should mention that the product itself was outstanding, and
photo magazine reviews begain to come in, reinforcing the high
quality image we were promoting.
Kiron became an example of a company that literally was doing
everything right. And as a result, went from nowhere to 4th place in
sales out of 64(!) independent lens brands in their first 12
moral of this case history is that if you understand the motivations
of the consumer, you can position your brand as the means of
achieving their desires. If the product lives up to that promise, you
have a winner.
Kelley Advertising and Marketing