A fashionable move

When PC Peripherals company, Canyon, launched its limited edition range of products, Chrome,  at the Canyon Xperience in Amsterdam, it officially cemented its place in the fashion market.

It probably feels like a very long time since Canyon was seen as a peripherals company, and the dramatic shift into IT fashion will have come as no surprise to competitors who also see that move as a critical decision in the attempt to survive the changing landscape of IT trends.

Founded in 2003, Canyon has quickly announced itself as one of the leading companies of its sector with potential of growth despite the complexities of its shifting market. Canyon claims the brand is focused solely towards the younger generation and emerging markets, a declaration it has supported by opening regional offices in upcoming areas around the globe, including Dubai.

Speaking at the Canyon Xperience, Geert Van Dijk, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, claimed that due to the advent of mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, PC peripherals are losing their demand because they lack the need for accessories.

“Peripherals aren’t growing. Desktops are going down, tablets are rising and all of our competitors are struggling to find a way out,” he says. “Some of them just lower their prices and hope for the best. However, Canyon’s plan is to devise focus groups and identify where we can be successful. It’s a risk because you may miss some specific target groups but I believe it’s the only way out.”

Canyon believes that low cost tablets will rule the market by 2016 with a 60% market share, with 686 million being shipped this year alone. “This is why companies must shift to accessories; headphones, tablet cases, pointers, etc, in order to survive the changing industry,” Van Dijk added.

Canyon focuses on emerging markets, such as Middle East and Africa where its new range of designs have been well received.

“We are strong in the emerging markets. Our Stripe range, Graffiti range and Rising Sun range have all done very well in the Middle East. It’s a fast growing market with a huge demand on latest trends and styles,” Van Dijk explained.

“All the retailers we work with in the Middle East seem to take on our limited edition ranges. Other markets aren’t so receptive of limited edition ranges but the Middle East always takes to them very quickly, it’s a fantastic market for us,” he adds.

Van Dijk states that the Middle East is an important area for Canyon on the basis that the economy is healthy and the willingness to invest and purchase is higher here than in other parts of the world.

It’s a bold move by the company to attempt to reinvent itself, but a move which has been well received in a region where innovation, reinvention and courageous business ventures are common practice.

“We’re a middle sized brand. We hope to become a very successful fashion brand, certainly within this region. The future of our business may lie in reinventing ourselves into a different sector and the Middle East is one of those regions which may be pivotal in that transition.”

Van Dijk claims that one of the reasons that Canyon is so successful globally is that it is accommodating to its worldwide fan base. Canyon says that social media is crucial for its strategy and that one of its differentiators is the fact that it has Facebook pages translated into multiple languages so that it can socially address a range of markets.

“Logitech  has a huge following in the U.S. but we have a huge following throughout Europe. There are hundreds of languages spoken throughout Europe, so we have 27 different Facebook pages,” he says.

“It’s time consuming but Logitech doesn’t have a Romanian Facebook page, or a Russian Facebook page, or an Arabic Facebook page. This gives us better reach but it’s also more complicated because there are a lot of people involved in the different regions, this is why our regional partners are so important – they do the leg work for us.”

Canyon is keen to continue to work with its customers in the Middle East, claiming that the market is open to new ideas. Canyon prides itself on being the alternative to black and grey products at the cheapest prices. Van Dijk explains that this would be a very safe strategy for Canyon but the company wants to be recognised as a risk taking, unique alternative in comparison to the norm.

“Huge companies like Samsung should be ashamed, they just supply all these products in very basic forms, such as black and grey. They need to turn up with something unique and different. The reason they do it is safety, but safety isn’t always going to give you the best results Of course if you’re the cheapest today, tomorrow someone else will be, then you’re just stuck in a pool with everyone else,” Van Dijk says.

Geert Van Dijk insists that branding unique products is his passion and that pushing Canyon’s new products into the emerging markets in a high priority. The Middle East has been quick to adopt Canyon products, limited edition and basic range, and Van Dijk believes that things can online get better for the small peripherals company, which is hoping to turn into a major fashion brand.

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