Following a string of recent acquisitions—which include the open-platform video company, Milestone and security camera maker Axis AB—Canon continues to build an arsenal of intellectual property around optical sensors and image processing technology, responding to opportunities in the B2B sector. This strategic shift is 20 years in the making, driven by Canon’s Excellent Global Corporation Plan, which calls for staying number one in its core categories while expanding its peripheral businesses. While the company has rallied internally, Canon is still most recognizable to the public as a camera brand.
With the continued contraction of the camera market, Canon wants to show off all it can do. It has supported its core camera business in Europe with the 2014 “Come and See” campaign, which promotes the power of photography to tell resonant stories. In the U.S., Canon launched the 2014 “See Impossible” campaign, which shows how its various products can power people’s imaginations—although it was perceived by critics as just a campaign, rather than an indication of product innovation or brand evolution.
However, at the 2015 launch of its global quinquennial Expo in New York City, Canon had the opportunity to dedicate more than 100,000 square feet of space to its innovative imaging solutions. Categories such as surveillance, film, and medical took center stage. Of the eleven topics featured at the Expo, Canon devoted only one to the compact camera, focusing on new networked advances—a strong indicator of Canon’s new product strategy. Experiences like the Expo seem to confirm Canon’s commitment to a new approach, cementing its shift from camera company to innovation leader.