When it comes to creating memories in a snap, Instax, from the house of Fujifilm, is a name to reckon with. Instax cameras are all about capturing moments and getting a physical souvenir in hand instantly to keep forever. Kunal Girotra, National Business Manager – Instax, Fujifilm India, shares with Ramesh Kumar Raja the value proposition of the brand in the age of selfies and smartphone cameras. Excerpts:
How have been you dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and what impact it had on your operations?
The pandemic has enforced a different thought process, strategy, and revisit at how we operate and serve our customers. We understood the situation deeply last year and introduced various measures to stay connected with our customers. At Fujifilm, it has been our constant endeavour to create meaningful advancements in the life of our consumers and the last year has allowed us to explore the unexplored ways to achieve the same.
At the community level, with our ‘Connecting Hearts’ initiative we introduced a unique patient-focused program by sharing Instax cameras and films with hospitals in India to reduce anxiousness among patients and help them combat COVID-19 with congeniality and affection spread smiles across doctors and nurses working on the frontline during these times. With Instant cameras, doctors or nurses can now effortlessly take a photograph and quickly attach a credit card-sized instant photo print of themselves to their medical gowns. We even conducted an interactive Instax Doodle Art Contest to help our customers utilize their time and give our business a chance to forge an instant connection with them. This year, to spread love, we launched a digital campaign ‘Give love; Gift an Instant Camera’ on Valentine’s Day. Through the campaign, we aimed at emphasizing how each one of us should celebrate unconditional love with all our near and dear ones like a relationship between couples, two sisters, friends, son and mother, siblings, daughter, etc.
We have been witnessing a year-on-year growth for our range of Instax cameras. Despite the pandemic, we are aiming to close our financial year with 90% growth over the last year. We are thrilled to witness how Instax has become a popular choice of gift for consumers and are committed to further strengthen the culture of print photography among consumers in a fresh, cool, and fun way.
What are the changing trends of photography in the country?
Photographers in India are experiencing a dramatic growth in their market with the advent of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. The market has grown exponentially with the proliferation of mobile apps and printing technology.
This growing shift in consumers is bringing newer forms of capturing moments and cherishing them in a more creative and personalized way. In the new era of photography, self-expression has become the key focus area and heart of the matter. Our range of Instax cameras and photographs due to the size of the film has seemed to become an ideal form for expressing one’s thoughts. The Instax range offers a fresh and new form of photography with its retro world nostalgia and charm.
Our range of Instax cameras has been a revelation for us in India. It has allowed us to resonate with the youngest population of the country and has become the ultimate gifting item due to its affordable pricing in India. Further leading to a growing interest among consumers to capture moments in the brightest and quirkiest manner instantly.
|“Our Instax cameras were developed to reintroduce not just a nostalgic sensation, but also a tradition of printing and exchanging moments in a revolutionary format. In fact, we feel smartphones have provided us the scope for improvement in our technologies and have given rise to a new sort of consumer, a more photography-savvy consumer”|
How Instax is promoting photography in India?
In an era of selfies and smartphone cameras, our range of Instax cameras is winning the hearts of many millennials in the country for its personal and unique features. At Fujifilm, we believe that the value of a product is not determined by the newness of its technology. Rather, an innovative product is one that helps people experience their lives and the world in a fresh and exciting way.
Introduced in 1998, the Instax instant cameras since then are allowing users to take and produce photos on the spot and for today’s generation, it has become the “new” methods of self-expression. Our range of Instax cameras has also become the go-to-choice for consumers for gifting on all kinds of occasions like birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, etc., you name it and our range of instant cameras will fit the occasion.
Our Instax cameras have played a key role as a catalyst to advance the culture of photography in the country. By allowing the young, talented millennial and Gen-Z generation to promote, preserve and present India’s scenic views, monuments, art, and culture that is yet to discover in the unique manner. With our range of cameras, we have allowed them to explore and capture the moments ‘Now’ and cherish them forever in a creative manner.
The advent of smartphones with innovative cameras has made everyone a photographer now. How are you trying to stay relevant as a brand?
Due to the rise of smartphones and a photo-obsessed younger generation, Fujifilm is committed to expanding the world of printing in India. Our Instax cameras were developed to reintroduce not just a nostalgic sensation, but also a tradition of printing and exchanging moments in a revolutionary format. In fact, we feel smartphones have provided us the scope for improvement in our technologies and have given rise to a new sort of consumer, a more photography-savvy consumer.
We are committed to saving people’s memories as well as preserving the spirit and history of photography. We want to empower people to have fun with their cameras and photos, as well as learn more about what they can do with them. The advent of smartphones has been a blessing in disguise for us, providing customers with a modern way to print quickly and easily with our Instax printers.
|“We want to empower people to have fun with their cameras and photos, as well as learn more about what they can do with them. The advent of smartphones has been a blessing in disguise for us, providing customers with a modern way to print quickly and easily with our Instax printers”|
How’s Instax banking on nostalgia to click with the target audience?
In India, Fujifilm’s Instant Camera collection has allowed the country’s selfie generation to connect strongly with it. Fujifilm’s instant camera range, which begins at a very low price in India and features the brightest and quirkiest designs, is a common gift for tweens and teens.
With our aim to resonate with the millennial audience, we strategically collaborated with India’s youth icon Alia Bhatt in the past. The megastar perfectly complemented the brand attributes of Instax, her playful behaviour organically embodies what Fujifilm Instax is all about – young, fun, and ‘kawaii’ (cute in Japanese).
Further, in the modern age of social media, to stay relevant and reach our target audience strategically, we constantly engage with young content creators to reach our audience. Our influencer campaign, ‘Don’t just take, give’, focused on spreading positivity across negatively filtered social media, and spread the joy of memories with our Instax range of cameras.
What’s your growth strategy going ahead?
At Fujifilm India, we believe that our range of Instax cameras have become the go-to gifting option across all occasions like birthdays, anniversary, milestones, etc. The sentimental and emotional value attached to the camera acts as the perfect accessory that one can give to their loved ones across all age groups. Our constant endeavour is to establish our Instax range as the ultimate gifting choice for consumers to give to their loved ones.
With a vision to develop the culture of Instant Photography and bring ‘Retro’ back with a dash of Nostalgia and quirkiness, we want to popularize taking Instant snaps and preserving them in our book of memories forever. On the roadmap to our vision, we have seen our Instant cameras emerging as one of the most preferred accessories and gadgets among millennials.
Moreover, we are continuously creating new technological innovations that inspire customers all over. Our goal is to meet our potential to the fullest and expand the horizons of tomorrow’s businesses and lifestyles. For meeting the needs of our consumers, we have been expanding our range of Instant products.