How the NX Lenses are launched into the World. PART II : The NX Lens Planners

The NX series, which
was a major hit upon its release last year, has won high praise from users to
journalists of camera magazines. For the compact system camera, the lens is an
essential product. Aren’t you curious about how the Samsung lens came to life?
What about the planning, designing, and marketing work that happened behind the
curtains to develop such a widely hailed product that promises an excellent
value for your money? Here is a sneak peek into how the Samsung NX lens
came to life and the behind stories.

Planning

1. Where
does lens planning start from? Do you follow market demand or do you focus on
technology?

Youngbae Kim
(Director, Product Planning Group)
: The NX lens
planning is driven by the market and consumers. We identify consumer needs and
define the lens specification based on their needs, and figure out how to match
the spec with the NX camera.
Jayong Koo
(Manager, Product Planning Group) :
Our planning is focused on the
consumers. We analyze various sales data, survey and interview the consumers to
build sophisticated understanding of their needs, and match that with our
technology to come up with a lens that the market is looking for.
Youngbae Kim (Director, Product Planning
Group)

2. What
channels do you use to gather consumer demands and
reactions?

Youngbae
Kim
: It’s simple. We analyze market data, sales data, and conduct
consumer surveys to segment the customers by age group/type and decide the lens
specification for each.

3. What
made you develop the i-Function lens in the first place?

Youngbae
Kim
: I made a lot of effort trying to understand consumer needs and
their usage behavior, and it led me to the i-Function lens. I thought very hard
about how to make photo shooting easier and enjoyable. Lens until now had
increasingly better quality but that was about it. If existing lens were
reactive, following what the body ordered, I wanted to develop a lens that has
buttons on the lens that can give directions, and the outcome was the i-Function
lens.
Jayong
Koo
: An innovative idea on a lens that is the i-Function
lens
. If a former lens was part of the body that moves reactively at the
body’s control, the i-Function lens, in contrast, controls the body, ensuring a
new innovative and convenient UI.

4. Where
did you focus in order to differentiate against competitors
products?

Youngbae
Kim
: We will continue to focus on performance and features, just like
the i-Function
lens
which has brought about a breakthrough in features.
Jayong Koo (Manager, Product Planning
Group)

5. What is
your outlook on mirrorless cameras and the future of the
i-Function?

Youngbae
Kim
: With such an entrenched DSLR market and mirrorless camera at only
its initial stage, many uncertainties exist. Nonetheless, I think that the
ability to fulfill the consumer’s need to capture a beautiful scene is more
important than mirror versus mirrorless. It’s true that the mirror camera was
able to better satisfy the consumers because it had better technology and
performance; however, I think that the transition from DSLR to mirrorless is a
natural path towards digitalization.
Jayong
Koo
: The compact system camera is an innovative camera that combines
the benefits of existing DSLR and point & shoot camera, and I think the
compact system camera market will grow. As a differentiated function of the NX,
the i-Function lens will be continuously upgraded and made more
convenient.

6. Do you
personally enjoy taking pictures?

Youngbae
Kim
: I recently had a late child and have taken a lot of pictures of
the baby.
Jayong
Koo
: I’ve been in the camera business for about 10 years and have
taken lots of pictures, which has been a great learning experience. These days,
I take pictures of my children using the NX100.

7. Can you
say a brief sentence about the lens you are currently developing that will be
revealed later?

Youngbae
Kim
: We plan to launch lenses for different purposes such as for macro
shooting, lens fit for video, and lens for portrait among many
others.

Marketing

1. Can you
describe what a product manager does?

Howoung Lee
(Senior Manager, Product Marketing Group)
: A product manager is
responsible for the whole process from its inception to mass production. Other
responsibilities include, when, where, and how much of the product will be
launched, how to compete with competitors, and what benefits to offer the
customers.
Howoung Lee (Senior Manager, Product Marketing
Group)

2. How is
marketing for cameras and lenses different from that of other electronic
products?

Howoung
Lee
: A camera is a product that has both digital and analog
attributes. The emotional aspect of the camera helps to connect people with
other people and deliver my own story.

3. What do
you highlights the most when trying to promote the excellence of the NX lens
compared to existing SLR cameras?

Howoung
Lee
: In marketing, there is a terminology called POP and POD. POP
stands for ‘Point of Parity’ and POD ‘Point of Difference’. In terms of POP, we
made a high resolution lens to strengthen the attribute of the lens. In terms of
POD, we introduced the unprecedented i-Function to differentiate against
competitors.

4. Do you
personally like to take photos? If so, what is your favorite camera and
lens?

Howoung
Lee
: I was a sales man in the past and there was this one time when I
took a photo of a customer on a heavy snow day, which facilitated the
negotiation. became even fonder of photos then. I like light lenses that work
best with family photos.

5. Do you
have any words of advice for those aspiring to become a marketer or working in a
camera related business?

Howoung
Lee
: Because camera portrays the heart and philosophy of people, I
think you need to have a warm heart to do camera marketing.

Design

1. Can you
briefly talk about the lens design?

Kyunghan Noh
(Senior Designer, Design Group)
: A lens designer thinks about what
value and benefit the lens should offer to the consumers when it comes out.
These thoughts impact the shape and composition of the lens.
Kyunghan Noh (Senior Designer, Design
Group)

2. I would
think that the lens would be limited in outer design compared to the camera
body. What do you think? What is the most important about outer
design?

Kyunghan
Noh
: The lens is an ultra precision instrument with size issues, so
it’s true that it has limitations in design. Defining a unique image group is
important.

3. I hear
that designers often have a hard time being stuck between the developers and
planners. What process do you go through to coordinate?

Kyunghan
Noh
: In the past, the designers had a little role to play, but the
mindset has shifted towards creativity, so now people come to ask for our
opinions.

4. Bluering
is a key feature of the Samsung NX lens. How did this come
about?

Kyunghan
Noh
: We borrowed blue, the color that represents Samsung, to express
Samsung’s unique identity through the lens as well.

5. A
self-evaluation of the i-Function lens?

Kyunghan
Noh
: I think the i-Function
lens
redefined the paradigm of interchangeable lens. If the existing cameras
were not able to control the function looking at the object, the i-Function lens
is able to do so, which is a clear differentiator.

6. What
kind of lens do you want to make in the future?

Kyunghan
Noh
: Our plan is to strengthen the premium lens line-up. We will also
continue to develop upgraded versions of previously launched lenses. I also want
to make a lens than can control the whole body from it.

7. Do you
have any words for those who want to become a lens
designer?

Kyunghan
Noh
: A lens designer should first have ample experience in taking
pictures. If you take a lot of pictures, you start to see improvement areas as a
user, so for those who want to become a camera or lens designer, I recommend you
take a lot of pictures.
In the two series,
we met with the lens developers, the NX lens
planners, marketers and designers to talk about the key features of the NX lens
and how the i-Function came about. We were able to see that the NX lens
was created to meet the needs of the users in a convenient way, which was made
possible through unsparing effort of experts in their respective fields. I look
forward to how the NX lens
evolves and develops in the future!
The NX series, which
was a major hit upon its release last year, has won high praise from users to
journalists of camera magazines. For the compact system camera, the lens is an
essential product. Aren’t you curious about how the Samsung lens came to life?
What about the planning, designing, and marketing work that happened behind the
curtains to develop such a widely hailed product that promises an excellent
value for your money? Here is a sneak peek into how the Samsung NX lens
came to life and the behind stories.

Planning

1. Where
does lens planning start from? Do you follow market demand or do you focus on
technology?

Youngbae Kim
(Director, Product Planning Group)
: The NX lens
planning is driven by the market and consumers. We identify consumer needs and
define the lens specification based on their needs, and figure out how to match
the spec with the NX camera.
Jayong Koo
(Manager, Product Planning Group) :
Our planning is focused on the
consumers. We analyze various sales data, survey and interview the consumers to
build sophisticated understanding of their needs, and match that with our
technology to come up with a lens that the market is looking for.
Youngbae Kim (Director, Product Planning
Group)

2. What
channels do you use to gather consumer demands and
reactions?

Youngbae
Kim
: It’s simple. We analyze market data, sales data, and conduct
consumer surveys to segment the customers by age group/type and decide the lens
specification for each.

3. What
made you develop the i-Function lens in the first place?

Youngbae
Kim
: I made a lot of effort trying to understand consumer needs and
their usage behavior, and it led me to the i-Function lens. I thought very hard
about how to make photo shooting easier and enjoyable. Lens until now had
increasingly better quality but that was about it. If existing lens were
reactive, following what the body ordered, I wanted to develop a lens that has
buttons on the lens that can give directions, and the outcome was the i-Function
lens.
Jayong
Koo
: An innovative idea on a lens that is the i-Function
lens
. If a former lens was part of the body that moves reactively at the
body’s control, the i-Function lens, in contrast, controls the body, ensuring a
new innovative and convenient UI.

4. Where
did you focus in order to differentiate against competitors
products?

Youngbae
Kim
: We will continue to focus on performance and features, just like
the i-Function
lens
which has brought about a breakthrough in features.
Jayong Koo (Manager, Product Planning
Group)

5. What is
your outlook on mirrorless cameras and the future of the
i-Function?

Youngbae
Kim
: With such an entrenched DSLR market and mirrorless camera at only
its initial stage, many uncertainties exist. Nonetheless, I think that the
ability to fulfill the consumer’s need to capture a beautiful scene is more
important than mirror versus mirrorless. It’s true that the mirror camera was
able to better satisfy the consumers because it had better technology and
performance; however, I think that the transition from DSLR to mirrorless is a
natural path towards digitalization.
Jayong
Koo
: The compact system camera is an innovative camera that combines
the benefits of existing DSLR and point & shoot camera, and I think the
compact system camera market will grow. As a differentiated function of the NX,
the i-Function lens will be continuously upgraded and made more
convenient.

6. Do you
personally enjoy taking pictures?

Youngbae
Kim
: I recently had a late child and have taken a lot of pictures of
the baby.
Jayong
Koo
: I’ve been in the camera business for about 10 years and have
taken lots of pictures, which has been a great learning experience. These days,
I take pictures of my children using the NX100.

7. Can you
say a brief sentence about the lens you are currently developing that will be
revealed later?

Youngbae
Kim
: We plan to launch lenses for different purposes such as for macro
shooting, lens fit for video, and lens for portrait among many
others.

Marketing

1. Can you
describe what a product manager does?

Howoung Lee
(Senior Manager, Product Marketing Group)
: A product manager is
responsible for the whole process from its inception to mass production. Other
responsibilities include, when, where, and how much of the product will be
launched, how to compete with competitors, and what benefits to offer the
customers.
Howoung Lee (Senior Manager, Product Marketing
Group)

2. How is
marketing for cameras and lenses different from that of other electronic
products?

Howoung
Lee
: A camera is a product that has both digital and analog
attributes. The emotional aspect of the camera helps to connect people with
other people and deliver my own story.

3. What do
you highlights the most when trying to promote the excellence of the NX lens
compared to existing SLR cameras?

Howoung
Lee
: In marketing, there is a terminology called POP and POD. POP
stands for ‘Point of Parity’ and POD ‘Point of Difference’. In terms of POP, we
made a high resolution lens to strengthen the attribute of the lens. In terms of
POD, we introduced the unprecedented i-Function to differentiate against
competitors.

4. Do you
personally like to take photos? If so, what is your favorite camera and
lens?

Howoung
Lee
: I was a sales man in the past and there was this one time when I
took a photo of a customer on a heavy snow day, which facilitated the
negotiation. became even fonder of photos then. I like light lenses that work
best with family photos.

5. Do you
have any words of advice for those aspiring to become a marketer or working in a
camera related business?

Howoung
Lee
: Because camera portrays the heart and philosophy of people, I
think you need to have a warm heart to do camera marketing.

Design

1. Can you
briefly talk about the lens design?

Kyunghan Noh
(Senior Designer, Design Group)
: A lens designer thinks about what
value and benefit the lens should offer to the consumers when it comes out.
These thoughts impact the shape and composition of the lens.
Kyunghan Noh (Senior Designer, Design
Group)

2. I would
think that the lens would be limited in outer design compared to the camera
body. What do you think? What is the most important about outer
design?

Kyunghan
Noh
: The lens is an ultra precision instrument with size issues, so
it’s true that it has limitations in design. Defining a unique image group is
important.

3. I hear
that designers often have a hard time being stuck between the developers and
planners. What process do you go through to coordinate?

Kyunghan
Noh
: In the past, the designers had a little role to play, but the
mindset has shifted towards creativity, so now people come to ask for our
opinions.

4. Bluering
is a key feature of the Samsung NX lens. How did this come
about?

Kyunghan
Noh
: We borrowed blue, the color that represents Samsung, to express
Samsung’s unique identity through the lens as well.

5. A
self-evaluation of the i-Function lens?

Kyunghan
Noh
: I think the i-Function
lens
redefined the paradigm of interchangeable lens. If the existing cameras
were not able to control the function looking at the object, the i-Function lens
is able to do so, which is a clear differentiator.

6. What
kind of lens do you want to make in the future?

Kyunghan
Noh
: Our plan is to strengthen the premium lens line-up. We will also
continue to develop upgraded versions of previously launched lenses. I also want
to make a lens than can control the whole body from it.

7. Do you
have any words for those who want to become a lens
designer?

Kyunghan
Noh
: A lens designer should first have ample experience in taking
pictures. If you take a lot of pictures, you start to see improvement areas as a
user, so for those who want to become a camera or lens designer, I recommend you
take a lot of pictures.
In the two series,
we met with the lens developers, the NX lens
planners, marketers and designers to talk about the key features of the NX lens
and how the i-Function came about. We were able to see that the NX lens
was created to meet the needs of the users in a convenient way, which was made
possible through unsparing effort of experts in their respective fields. I look
forward to how the NX lens
evolves and develops in the future!

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