Canon, Inc. rose from a small Japanese company to a major part of the photocopier market and a challenger of Xerox through its company values and strategies.
The company’s CEO always had the future of the company in mind and never lost sight of the company’s long term goals as they began to produce a small, cheaper photocopier.
One of Canon's main strategies was to decentralize the organization by creating individual business units. Each business unit had its own decision-making function. This strategy allowed Canon to sell their product locally and improve the customer base as well as the quality of the product before moving to foreign markets. By doing this, Canon had the opportunity to collaborate with U.S. companies to market and sell the photocopiers.
Another key success factor was its advertising strategy, designed to promote the brand and make Canon a household name. This approach meant that the name itself could demand and sell at a higher price. Sponsorship of major sporting events also helped keep the company in the public eye.
Internal company policy also played an important role as the company took notice of the customer’s needs. The company’s manufacturing process was designed to slash production time and resource consumption, which meant that the customer would get their product as soon as they needed it and with fewer resources to consume, the customer would pay a lower price than Canon’s competitors.
Canon also adopted a competitive strategy. By using a differentiation strategy, the company deployed its technological capabilities and know-how in fine optics, precision mechanics, micro electronics and fine chemicals to develop innovative products. It used diversity in order to sustain growth. Canon moved into the market for calculators, then semi-conductors, and went on to design the first laser printer. It eventually had a multi-faceted product that provided the user with copying, faxing, printing and scanning functions from a single computer port.
Canon, Inc.’s financial statements reflect the recession times in Japan as you compare the domestic sales and overseas sales of the company. They also reflect the innovation and popularity of technology in the visible company profits.
During 1981 and throughout that entire decade, Canon’s domestic sales were low. They did increase from year to year, but not as much as the overseas sales increased. Compared to domestic sales, overseas sales were increasing at a much greater rate. It might appear that the company had more success in another country versus its own country, but the financial summary probably includes sales from two or three different countries compared to Japan.
Canon’s sales of different products changed drastically between 1981 and 1990. The company’s primarily focus was the production and sales of cameras, which made this product the top seller for the company. During the 1980s, the company began to expand and focus more on copiers and other business machines. Technology research allowed the company to create and update these products as the demand for them grew.
Canon, Inc. made a change in their company’s business from a leading producer of high-class cameras in Japan, to sophisticated technology items such as video cameras, VCRs, and copiers. The company established a new products R&D department to help with these products.
Copiers gave the company a different value proposition requiring an unfamiliar set of business processes to deliver customer value. The company formed a research group dedicated to the development of plain paper copier technology. This group would be expected to create a product that promised customers quality, speed, low price, and do-it-yourself maintenance. This would allow the company to better compete in the market and allow it to grow into a highly diversified and multi-product company.
Canon, Inc. had a well-conceived...