by Canon Australia
Kyōyū is Canon’s first-ever camera-sharing platform. Product Manager Anthony Cortis says working with Sharetribe Flex allowed the team to reduce unknowns and get into the market quickly.
Well-known for its state-of-the-art photography gear, Canon’s direction in the Australian market is focussed squarely on the consumer experience.
"In recent years, there’s been a big emphasis on building the Canon community and bringing it closer together," says Anthony Cortis, Product Manager at Canon Australia.
"That’s the idea behind Kyōyū."
Japanese for 'share', Kyōyū is a camera-sharing community created by Canon Australia as an affordable and simple way for everyone to access better photography gear, and to help owners get more value from their Canon products.
The team had been tossing around ideas for a while, and when a marketplace prototype was put in front of photographers, it was clear that gear-sharing was the way to go.
"We said to ourselves, 'we have an opportunity to do something pretty amazing, change the way people access our gear. If we can push the boundaries, let’s do it properly.'"
Anthony’s team had no shortage of technical expertise, so they also considered building the platform from scratch.
"I’m so glad we didn't," Anthony says.
"Our main goal was to get into the market as quickly as possible to start learning. The speed to market was the most important benefit of using Sharetribe Flex."
Anthony also thinks that working with Flex helped reduce unknowns.
"Marketplaces require complicated functionality. The user experience with bookings and payments needs to be flawless. We knew what we wanted Kyōyū to look and feel like, but nobody on our team had built a marketplace before. Sharetribe’s expertise helped us understand what it takes to build, start, and run a marketplace."
Kyōyū was launched in Australia in March 2019. Anthony says feedback has been extremely positive: users have warmly welcomed the opportunity to have their gear work for them when not in use.
Some have wondered, however, why a camera manufacturer wants to help people share equipment instead of buying it. In fact, Anthony says that bringing people together and swapping gear has a host of benefits that deepen engagement in photography.
"Photographers love to share ideas and talk about how they use their gear. Trying gear before you buy also opens your mind to new possibilities. There are exciting opportunities for us in bringing people together and enabling our community to access the gear they want, quickly and easily," he says.
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