Photo taken with Canon EOS 30D
Picture This, I have had a long term relationship with Nikon. It seems now that it was one-sided. An elaborate invitation for a Nikon D80 did not arrive in my mailbox last April. I was not on the Nikon D80 Blogger Outreach dance card.
A Nikon D80 is a very nice camera….and I really needed a new camera.
But, it did make me start thinking…Now, CK did a great job articulating all of those blogger relations/blogger outreach and just blogger issues; credibility, transparency, incentives, even community building. And lots of smart, credible, community builders wrote thoughtful comments on her post.
It was just that I was thinking about my relationship with the Nikon Brand.
My very first SLR camera purchased shortly after college graduation was a Nikormat.My recollection is that I saved for quite some time to accumulate enough cash to make that camera my own.
As the years passed, I accumulated quite a collection of Nikons; even the lenses from the Nikormat found a home on my last film camera, the Nikon ProneaS. My first digital camera was a very large CoolPix990. The remnants of my Nikon graveyard is memorialized above.
I had been using a Nikon 7600 basic point and shoot when I began my pursuit of something more. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that from the time that I bought the Nikormat, that I had purchased a camera that wasn’t a Nikon. It seems to me that the D80 Blogger Outreach program changed my beliefs about Nikon.
Now, I am fairly brand loyal….I don’t get why anyone but Heinz or Hellman’s even bothers to make catsup or mayonnaise respectively; and no Pepsi is not an acceptable substitute for Coke. (Full disclosure, Heinz has been a client) But then again, after three Volvo’s, the last one was so awful I would not make any brand based assumptions in considering a future purchase.
And for me, Nikon meant camera. I started with the brand and then decided which one. Before the D80 Blogger Program that is.
I thought the Nikon Flickr program was inspired….sending D80’s to Flickr users and letting them experience the camera by creating content to upload on Flickr, that became brand advertising. The program was a kind of community mash-up that linked Flickr, photographers and the Nikon D80, engaging to all.
The D80 Blogger program was not built on exactly the same principles…and I am talking about the principles of designing the context for users to experience a brand, create content and let the content and the users market the brand, not anyone’s personal principles.
Joseph Jaffe, a D80 participant, seems to have something else altogether going on with his podcast for iPhones and more, and certainly is generating lots of opinions as John Moore points out.
All that aside, what theD80 program and the discussion that followed did for me was to point out that despite my years of Nikon brand loyalty that there were bloggers who perhaps had never spent a single cent on a Nikon product, who maybe didn’t even take many pictures or ever blog about anything photo related who were going to get a really awesome and expensive camera for f-r-e-e.
The Sprint Ambassador program evoked similar thoughts….Lots of bloggers I knew had free Sprint phones and free calls. I was a paying customer.
I had been a Sprint customer for years but for the past several had issues ranging from product quality to service quality, to billing and customer service. I not only couldn’t get my problems solved, when asked at the end of one of the many marathon customer service sessions if there was anything else they could do to for me and I mentioned that I could use a new phone, the rep said that they just weren’t able to do that anymore for customers. Guess all the phones were going to all those Ambassadors.
So, as I went into serious search for new camera mode, instead of evaluating Nikon cameras only, I looked at other Brands. I found my way to Canon and eventually to the 30D, purchased in July. I love it. I am still in learning mode and it will be a while before I can commit to Canon brand loyalty. That takes time and positive experience.
Aside, I read yesterday that the new Canon 40D is due out next month. Did I move too soon?