Our endeavour is to treat photographers and creators to an unhurried, hands-on, informative experience, based on their personal interests.
Better Photography|November 2021
Canon’s experiential showrooms, aptly called Canon Image Squares (or CIS), is among the most successful formats of its kind in India. The first of the new edition, CIS 4.0, opened in Mumbai recently. It brings together technology, lifestyle, and innovation, and is hugely customer-centered. Mr. Manabu Yamazaki, President & CEO, Canon India, and Mr. C Sukumaran, Director, Consumer System Products & Imaging Communication Business, Canon India, speak with K Madhavan Pillai about CIS 4.0.

Q. K Madhavan Pillai (KMP): Canon has been successfully operating CIS or Canon Image Squares since 2010. Please briefly tell us about the history of CIS in India, especially the versions of it?

A. Mr. Manabu Yamazaki (MY): Initially, CIS was the branding for our shops that had our products. In the early years, we wanted to geographically expand. 1.0 was all about having as many CIS at physical locations. In 2.0, it was all about more products, availability, touch and try, and these little things that improved the customer’s experience. With 3.0, we got more involved with quality of experience, and expansion as well. Up until then, the physical number of locations was important.

Then the pandemic hit. The whole social landscape changed. I experienced its effects here even as I took on my new role with Canon India. With lockdowns and restrictions, the way of life changed. Behaviours changed. We all began to rethink our strategy, first by looking at ourselves and our CIS partners. Our partners are essential to us because they are geographically connected to our customers and provide exposure to our products. But people kept away from these physical locations because of the lockdowns and pandemic. So, the question really is, what are the expectations after people lock themselves away for a while, and then come out in a restricted manner, with reduced physical contact?

The answer is in providing a vivid experience with brilliant imagery, with minimal contact, but hands-on and with a physical experience of products, while satisfying specific needs in specific areas of applications at the same time.

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