Thursday, 28 November 2019 21:18

Canon seeks sales photo finish with new five-year warranty

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Just before the massive Black Friday and pre-Christmas sales season, Canon has unveiled its market-leading five-year warranty, showing it really stands behind its products, confirming as always that price alone has never been the ultimate determinant of value.

Canon Australia, which bills itself as "the nation’s most trusted camera brand" per the "Shopper Media Survey July 2019", has announced it is offering "a new five-year standard manufacturer warranty for products in its Mirrorless, DSLR, Digital Video Camera and Lens product ranges" purchased from authorised Canon Australia sellers from November 25, 2019.

As you'd expect, Canon said its warranty "demonstrates confidence in the quality of its products by backing it with an appropriate warranty" - and there's an infographic at the end of this article with more visual information.

Clearly, a long warranty is something you only want to offer if you truly believe your products can stand the test of time, but to understand warranty expectations in the Australian market, Canon Australia said that it "independently commissioned the Consumer Warranty Expectations Survey 2019" which found Australian adult consumers link the length of a manufacturer warranty to brand trust, good value, and product quality, per the "YouGov Galaxy Research online national omnibus between 7-12 November 2019, commissioned by Canon Australia comprising a nationally representative sample of 1,098 adults aged 18+."

We're told that "the research reveals Australian consumers consider brands that offer manufacturer warranty periods longer than competitors more trustworthy (87%). Furthermore, most Australian respondents (89%) consider longer than average manufacturer warranty periods proof that a brand is confident in the quality of its products.

Other key headline findings are as follows:

  • There’s a gap between consumer warranty expectations and what is currently available for common consumer electronics goods such as mobile phones, digital cameras
    • The explanation for this is that "consumer electronics categories in this release refer to Mobile phone ($300-$1,100); Mobile phone ($1,200-$3,000); Digital camera (DSLR) ($399-$899); Digital camera (DSLR) ($1,100-$3,000); Home printer ($60-$200); Smart watch/fitness watch (Fitbit, Garmin) ($50-$200); Television (65-inch 4k screen) ($2,000-$5,000); Fridge/Freezer combo ($2,000-$5,000); and, Washing machine ($300-$700). The ‘gap’ has been determined by comparing warranties available on websites to the expectations determined by the Consumer Warranty Expectations Survey 2019."
  • Over four in five Australian adult respondents (84%) claim that when choosing a product to buy between two brands, if price and specifications were similar, they would choose the product with a longer warranty
  • 87% agree that a longer manufacturer warranty means a higher product quality
  • 90% of Australian adult respondents agree that long manufacturer warranties provide peace of mind

Jason McLean, Canon Australia's Director of Consumer Imaging said: "Canon’s new five-year camera warranty for Mirrorless, DSLR, Digital Video Camera and Lens product ranges responds to Australian consumers’ expectations for longer warranties to apply to higher-end products that represent a significant investment".

McLean believes "consumer expectations have evolved due to the rise of a new ‘transient goods’ mindset and consumer electronic brands setting low expectations for the quality of their products by offering shorter than appropriate warranties.

“It is time for brands in the industry to modernise their manufacturer warranties to reflect consumer expectations of quality, trust and good value,” continued McLean.

The rise of ‘Transient Goods’

Canon Australia also reports that it believes "it is possible that Australian consumer habits are being shaped by the rise of transient goods: a consumer electronics industry created perception that has conditioned consumers into believing that technology is outdating so fast, hardware only needs to last one or two years until the next model is available.

"In support of this ‘transient goods’ theory, the Consumer Warranty Expectations Survey 2019 reveals most (87%) Australian consumer respondents believe that some consumer technology companies encourage people to update to new models every 1-2 years even though the current product would perform perfectly for several more years. This is felt by 93 per cent of Aussie Baby Boomer respondents, and over four in five millennials (82%).

"In comparing consumer expectations to warranties currently available on the market, there is a gap for common consumer electronics goods such as mobile phones and digital cameras.

"When investing in a mobile phone priced between $1,200-$3,000, the research shows the average expected consumer warranty amongst adult Aussie respondents is 2.4 years. In looking at the current market leaders, six in seven handset brands provide two-year warranties for handsets in this category, coming in just under consumer expectations.

"However, the research also reveals a quarter (19%) of Gen X respondents and a third (32%) of Baby Boomers claim they expect a warranty 4-years or more for such a large investment; this may be evidence that the transient goods mindset is taking hold in younger ‘digital native’ generations.

"In looking to the digital camera category, for interchangeable lens DSLR or Mirrorless devices priced between $1,100-$3,000, the average expected consumer warranty is 2.5 years. In comparing six major brands in the market, three offer one-year warranties – including one with an extension option to two years in exchange for additional personal information from the consumer.

"The remaining three brands offer two-year warranties[10]. Again however, the Consumer Warranty Expectations Survey 2019 reveals over a quarter (28%) of Australian respondents claim they expect a warranty of 4-years or more for their interchangeable lens DSLR or Mirrorless devices.

"Only 11% of the overall population disagreed that a longer manufacturer warranty gives them certainty that what they buy is good value. Among 18-24 years this number almost doubled (20%), which again may indicate transient goods culture has become a relative ‘norm’ for the digital native generation."

Undervaluing quality products with short warranties

According to the Consumer Warranty Expectations Survey 2019, Canon stated "Australian consumers generally don’t expect warranties to extend past three years, even for products costing on average $3,500 ($2,000-$5,000 range). This alarmingly includes refrigerators and TVs, both of which consumers have previously expressed in a Choice survey that they expect to last between 5-11 years.

"Canon believes that in offering short warranty periods, consumer electronic brands are not demonstrating confidence in the quality of their products by matching warranty to the length of time consumers expect to own the product.

"With its new five-year warranty, Canon believes it is offering a new standard[12] in Australia for consumer electronic brands that are confident in the reliability and quality of their products."

Canon's McLean added: “At the end of the day, every brand should be providing products that offer the most value and the best possible experience to its consumers. If Aussie consumer electronic brands are confident in the quality of their higher-end products, why wouldn’t they follow our lead in backing it with an appropriate manufacturer warranty?”

Unlocking true value and quality:

With over half of millennial survey respondents (57% compared to 40% of the general population) agreeing they spend money more impulsively at key sales times like Black Friday to bag a bargain, Canon is urging consumers to look beyond a product’s price and consider the brand’s Australian manufacturer warranty as a signal that it is confident in the quality of the product.

McLean continued: “When purchasing a product online during the sales, confirm that the product you’re buying is supported by a genuine Australian manufacturer warranty to give you peace of mind that you’re covered should the product have a defect.

“As consumers you can demand the best experience from the local brands you buy from. Know your rights as consumers and help stem the shift to a transient goods culture by supporting brands that demonstrate their confidence in the quality of the products they provide,” McLean concluded.

More information on Canon Australia’s five-year warranty is here.

Canon offres these additional stats:

  • 74% claim they try to shop local because they are conscious of securing a genuine manufacturer warranty
  • Almost four in five (78%) Australian respondents claim the experience they have with a brand means little if the product doesn’t work after two years

Regarding the comparison of warranties referred to above, Canon provides the following detail: 

  • Comparison of warranties available for mobile phone products in the $1,200 - $3,000 price range offered by Samsung (two-year limited warranty), Apple (one-year limited warranty), Huawei (two-year limited warranty), Motorola (two-year limited warranty), Google (two-year limited warranty), OPPO (two-year limited warranty), and Optus (two-year limited warranty) based on information available on their Australian website as of the 18th November 2019 and a comparison of warranties available for digital camera products (DSLR) in the $1,000 - $3,000 price range offered by Sony (two-year limited warranty), Nikon (one-year limited warranty), Olympus (two-year limited warranty), Fujifilm (one-year warranty); Leica (two-year limited warranty), and, Panasonic (one-year limited warranty) based on information available on their Australian website as of the 18th November 2019. Comparisons are made against consumer warranty expectations determined by the Consumer Warranty Expectations Survey 2019
  • Comparison of warranties available for digital camera products (DSLR) in the $1,000 - $3,000 price range offered by Sony (two-year limited warranty), Nikon (one-year limited warranty), Olympus (two-year limited warranty), Fujifilm (one-year warranty); Leica (two-year limited warranty), and, Panasonic (one-year limited warranty) based on information available on their Australian website as of the 18th November 2019. Comparisons are made against consumer warranty expectations determined by the Consumer Warranty Expectations Survey 2019 survey
  • Canon considers its 5-year warranty a new standard when comparing to warranties currently offered by key camera brands in the market including: Sony (two-year limited warranty), Nikon (one-year limited warranty), Olympus (two-year limited warranty), Fujifilm (one-year warranty); Leica (two-year limited warranty), and, Panasonic (one-year limited warranty) based on information available on their Australian website as of the 18th November 2019.

Here is Canon's Infographic:

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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