Q&A with Canon

In a changing world, there are many different ways to grow, and you must always be ready to change directions. How has your growth strategy evolved this year?

Last year Canon started its latest five-year plan, Phase V of the “Excellent Global Corporation Plan.” With this new plan, we aim to “embrace the challenge of new growth through a grand strategic transformation,” further expand our ongoing reform and proactively implement sweeping reform over the next five years.

In addition to our main existing businesses, such as cameras and printers, last year we laid out 4 new businesses—namely commercial printing, network cameras, healthcare and industrial equipment—which will drive our business and lead us to new growth. This year, the second year of Phase V, in order to strengthen and expand our new businesses, we are aiming to thoroughly reinforce our existing businesses while going full speed ahead with the four new businesses we lined up last year. We are aiming to achieve CAGR +15% for sales of our four new businesses and +6% for sales overall by 2020.

Growth isn’t just about margins – it’s about creating connections and building trust. What are you doing to prioritize authentic engagement amongst customers?

Canon established “Kyosei” as its corporate philosophy in 1988. Since then, We have worked on building relationships not only with customers and business partners but also with countries, communities, nature and the global environment. We have tasked ourselves with making the most of our technology to create new value for society and to resolve social issues.

We continuously strive to respond to consumer needs, leveraging our cutting-edge technology in order to contribute to better lives for people and to a better society, as well as offering products and services of the utmost quality that people have come to expect of us.

How are you leveraging emergent technologies to strengthen and grow your brand?

The massive amount of information being collected through the internet of things (IoT) is supporting the development of AI technology, which is gathering a lot of attention right now. Images, as part of this big data, are expected to play an important role. Canon views the “I” in IoT as “Imaging” and regards the phase shift toward AI technology as the best opportunity for us to grow further.

Canon evokes a sense of innovation with products that have leading-edge imaging technology at their core. We plan to strengthen and grow our brand by effectively promoting our technological prowess, the foundation of our products and services.

How has your brand been central to navigating some of the biggest challenges that your organization has faced this year ?

We are expanding the domain of our business portfolio from B2C to B2B. We aim to continue advancing the earning power and manufacturing prowess we have built up with our existing businesses, utilize these strengths to develop our new businesses, and transform ourselves into a totally different Canon by 2020. The challenge we face now is trying to nurture Canon’s image as a B2B brand.

What shifts within in your region or sector are you anticipating, and how are you proactively preparing for these changes?

With such maturing existing businesses as cameras and printers, we don’t expect to see a return to double-digit growth, however, they remain important contributors to our brand image and our profits. Going forward, we will use our technological and manufacturing prowess to continue releasing competitive products that won’t get caught up in price wars and cement our position as market leader.

On the other hand, we are continuing to develop our new businesses, aiming at future growth. Last year, we lined up our four new key businesses: commercial printing, network cameras, healthcare and industrial equipment. Each business domain shows great potential for market growth. Through synergy between the imaging technology we have cultivated through our existing businesses and the technology of Group companies acquired through M&A activities, we will develop high-added-value products and solutions and grow these new businesses to drive our future growth.

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