Jump to content
LUF Admin

Special Edition: Leica CL ‘100 jahre bauhaus’

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

19 hours ago, jaapv said:

Black dot?? Well, well, well :D

Well let’s hope Leica Microsystems signed off on this one.  :)  

I thought the black M8.2 was the last, even considering special editions.  Maybe they’re trying to cut into DAG’s business. :) 

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clearly it is. You don’t need to convince me of anything. You’re the one complaining. I’m just trying to understand your point. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could care less about marketing theory. Frankly, my personal opinion is that marketing theorists are nearly always wrong, and that most marketing is a load of bullpucky that I ignore completely. 

Leica is one of the few camera brands that is actually making a profit and growing financially, has an incredibly loyal following, and is one of the companies that has produced more special editions than most others. That sort of says to me that what you're saying is hooey, at least in this case. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Le Chef said:

It should be self evident, but obviously not. The point here is not Leica’s history of product excellence but what diminishes that intent. You add value to a brand through enhancements that consumers see as valuable, not diminish it. Functional improvements add value, flimsy special editions are hooey. If Leica paid more marketing attention to growing it’s consumer base with real product enhancement - even why Leica eschews complicated interfaces for example - this would make the brand more appealing. There are easy enough tests for brands to establish when they should do special editions and what those special editions should align to, but with Leica this seems to be more along the lines of “someone had an idea, let’s run with it” rather than asking the question as to how does this increase value, grow the customer base, or retain customers. The challenge is today, not what Leica did in the past.

You are forgetting one thing: Leica does not only sell technical products, part of its market are (rich) collectors, and the top percentile of society, people like pop stars, royalty, presidents, etc. Those customers demand distinctive products, maybe not as extreme as extreme as a Rolls Royce limousine with a golden bathtub, but luxury nonetheless. The most extreme example being for instance the "Sultan of Brunei" gold-plated R4 which was a little present for guests at a party the gentleman threw. The tradition started with the limited edition "Leica Luxus" (Gold-plated, snake or lizard leather) This filters down into less stratospheric part of their customer group - who doesn't want to use the same camera as the Queen? :lol:
Its customer base is skewed to the more affluent part of society, has been for over 100 years.
This has worked itself, over time, into Leica's product range. So Leica is not just a technical company, it is also a company that produces high-end special products, and icons based on technical products.

Yes, regular core customers discuss and poke fun at all the special products, but there is not a single one that is not aware that this is part of Leica's heritage.

Your posts only prove that you are not aware of this double brand heritage.

Obviously you are right for pure tech companies. Canon and Nikon would be laughed out of the room and Hasselblad fell flat on its face when it tried, but for Leica it is part of the corporate brand image.
Leica is expected to produce limited editions, as they have been doing so for over 80 years.

Also, you may not be aware of this, but Leica will also do special individual products on request. For instance, I had my Monochrom made with special engravings and leather (not to everybody's taste and after a few days not to mine either - I had it changed at the earliest opportunity), making it a special edition of one. Leica made me sign an NDA when they did so (since expired and I fail to see how it could be enforced when using the camera) as there was a gentleman in the Middle East having the same thing done.
The factory sells a-la-carte cameras, straps and cases, will do individual modifications, build small cosmetically altered series at request - and payment :D, you name it,

I don't think your general rule can apply to a highly individualistic company with an equally quirky customer base and a long-standing reputation of individualizing their products. I think you have fallen into the expert's trap of applying a fixed rule to an individual case.

You may also note that they haven't done special editions (that we know of - there may be some specially built cameras out there in the Kremlin or Riyadh) of their SL and S series, which are aimed at a different market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Im fully aware of Leica’s “heritage” of producing special editions but I can’t help you see what you don’t want to see. It’s not marketing theory, it marketing practice. Brands like Audemars Piguet and Aston Martin, to name but two, who pursue the same high net worth customer have suffered because they have produced special editions that delivered no functional improvement. There is by the way a difference between bespoke and special editions that should be obvious to everyone here. The sad thing is the fundamental products are good and great to use, but when it comes to a special edition like the Bauhaus 100 the opportunity to offer something more significant, to raise the bar, than a piece of blind embossed leather has been wasted. 

Edited by Le Chef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if any damage was done to the brand then it was done 85 years ago... According to your theory it is damaging to a car brand to bring out a special edition with a different colour and trim  and a “GT” badge and charge for it. Yet they all do it all the time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Special Editions certainly have not hurt Porsche.  One of the most successful 

of high tech and high performance vehicles. 

Cheers, Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dfdann said:

Special Editions certainly have not hurt Porsche.  One of the most successful 

of high tech and high performance vehicles. 

Cheers, Dan

You say that but it looks as if finally Porsche have over-reached themselves. The speculators who bought the 991-2 GT2, GT3 and GT3RS cars may have caught a cold. A UK specialist car broker, through whom I have bought a Porsche in the past, phoned me 10 days ago to offer a choice of those three cars in various colours, all with either zero or nominal mileage, at below list price. 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

There’s a difference between special editions that are purely cosmetic and those that have substance. The ones with substance can quite often command a higher price on the resellers market and help the brand become more valuable and aspirational.

The cosmetic special editions usually drop quickly to general market prices. Those are the ones that damage your equity. And yes, manufacturers still do it, often to shift factory inventory, or to create a media blip. It’s usually a defensive move rather than an offensive move. The impact (ROI) rarely goes positive and brand equity usually goes down. 

My point is that if you ask the question “What is the best way grow my brand/margin/volume?” the answer is rarely “Launch a cosmetic special edition.” The money can usually be better spent in other ways.

For the Bauhaus 100 why didn’t they go the extra mile/kilometer? Why not add a book about the connection between Bauhaus and Leica? Have the book stamped with the individual serial number of the camera and signed? Show the original drawings of the CL along with those of the Leica I. Why not add a jump drive/memory card of interviews with the designers of the CL talking about and showing how the model was influenced by the Bauhaus Movement. My point is if you’re going to do a special edition make the effort to add real value. 

Edited by Le Chef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice ideas 😀 I shudder at the Leica price tag for such extras. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jaapv said:

Nice ideas 😀 I shudder at the Leica price tag for such extras. 

If you look at “value add” for luxury brands the perceived value is often significantly above cost. Look at the pricing behind luxury watch boxes vs perceived value and you can see why it can be worth it. It helps the buyer immerse themselves into the brand and increases the sense of value for the price paid. Think back to album covers from the 1970’s - works of art in gatefold and box form, or special editions box sets of those same albums released today. The packaging of these special editions makes them collectors items - precisely where Leica could be if they put more into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I’m not a buyer, but it seems most of the Leica special editions include special packaging and presentation.  And as prices have increased, it seems even stock M gear now comes in more attractive packaging.  Marketing 101, I think.... dress up the item, dress up the box, raise the price.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Le Chef said:

There’s a difference between special editions that are purely cosmetic and those that have substance. The ones with substance can quite often command a higher price on the resellers market and help the brand become more valuable and aspirational.

The cosmetic special editions usually drop quickly to general market prices. Those are the ones that damage your equity. And yes, manufacturers still do it, often to shift factory inventory, or to create a media blip. It’s usually a defensive move rather than an offensive move. The impact (ROI) rarely goes positive and brand equity usually goes down. 

My point is that if you ask the question “What is the best way grow my brand/margin/volume?” the answer is rarely “Launch a cosmetic special edition.” The money can usually be better spent in other ways.

For the Bauhaus 100 why didn’t they go the extra mile/kilometer? Why not add a book about the connection between Bauhaus and Leica? Have the book stamped with the individual serial number of the camera and signed? Show the original drawings of the CL along with those of the Leica I. Why not add a jump drive/memory card of interviews with the designers of the CL talking about and showing how the model was influenced by the Bauhaus Movement. My point is if you’re going to do a special edition make the effort to add real value. 

That certainly makes sense.

There does seem to me to be a difference between special editions that are genuinely different - the Zagato M10 is made from a completely different body, machined from aluminium - and the titanium editions, which just had flash paint ...

Edited by IkarusJohn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a shame this “special edition” was a tad more special, perhaps a different lens? One CL is enough for me, I use the T (701) more when I am not shooting film. My next camera is probably the TL2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/19/2019 at 10:09 AM, jaapv said:

I just got a mail offering a special edition Pelikan Souverän. :rolleyes:

I don't see much damage to the brand...

https://www.pelikan.com/pulse/Pulsar/en_US_INTL.FWI.displayShop.261048./souverän-600-violet-white

I have to say, that's a rather stunning pen. I'd happily own one of those, aside from the price.

Similarly, I love this model:

https://elephant-coral.com/graf-von-faber-castell-limited-edition-jade-pen-why-you-must-buy-this-jade-pen/

Cosmetic differences which show a clear intention for artisan craftsmanship always float my boat; there are limited edition Casio G-Shock watches that cost thousands of dollars, the bezel hand finished by a master Japanese artisan in a traditional Japanese metalworking design. Some might balk at the idea of a Casio that costs thousands; I admit to balking as well, but hey, if Seiko can create the Grand Seiko range with next level luxury finishing, materials and movements, all in house, then why not Casio?

Edited by Archiver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/19/2019 at 10:10 AM, Le Chef said:

There’s a difference between special editions that are purely cosmetic and those that have substance. The ones with substance can quite often command a higher price on the resellers market and help the brand become more valuable and aspirational.

The cosmetic special editions usually drop quickly to general market prices. Those are the ones that damage your equity. And yes, manufacturers still do it, often to shift factory inventory, or to create a media blip. It’s usually a defensive move rather than an offensive move. The impact (ROI) rarely goes positive and brand equity usually goes down. 

My point is that if you ask the question “What is the best way grow my brand/margin/volume?” the answer is rarely “Launch a cosmetic special edition.” The money can usually be better spent in other ways.

For the Bauhaus 100 why didn’t they go the extra mile/kilometer? Why not add a book about the connection between Bauhaus and Leica? Have the book stamped with the individual serial number of the camera and signed? Show the original drawings of the CL along with those of the Leica I. Why not add a jump drive/memory card of interviews with the designers of the CL talking about and showing how the model was influenced by the Bauhaus Movement. My point is if you’re going to do a special edition make the effort to add real value. 

Leica attracts a very special kind of consumer. As does Audemars Piguet and Aston Martin, of which you mentioned earlier. The market for those products is very, very narrow. Much more narrow than Leica. Leica wants to associate itself with form follows function, and a classic german cultural artifact that is the Bauhaus. Straight forward design and top notch engineering. And did I mention German? If anything, this reinforces the brand as being of german excellence, and on the cutting edge of design and technology. It will also sell more cameras because people want to be associated with what their ideal is, and "collectors" that have a hole in their pocket will want to own them like collectors that dabble in guitar playing own a $15K 1962 fender strat that hangs on a wall. It conjures the myth of historical "design." Which it is. Corbu, Albers, Gropius, Breuer. All giants in the design field. I would venture to say that most who aspire to own or already own Leica's know who those people are and the impact they had on design and architecture. Besides, the cost to manufacture this special edition is minimal to nothing. No content to generate, no hardware, no publishing, nothing. 

Leica ownership is a culture, and everybody knows it. Adding those "value adding" extras would place Leica in the same category as it's competitors in a lower class of manufacturer. They don't do bells and whistles because it's "Leica." Subdued. Classic. Time honored, and respected and not overrun by commercialism. And that, aside from being overpriced and of exceptional quality and design, is what separates it from most other camera manufacturers, and has for a very long time. A simple yet elegant nod to the Bauhaus seems like a very good marketing ploy.

 

Edited by Jake

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Jake said:

Leica attracts a very special kind of consumer. As does Audemars Piguet and Aston Martin, of which you mentioned earlier. The market for those products is very, very narrow. Much more narrow than Leica. Leica wants to associate itself with form follows function, and a classic german cultural artifact that is the Bauhaus. Straight forward design and top notch engineering. And did I mention German? If anything, this reinforces the brand as being of german excellence, and on the cutting edge of design and technology. It will also sell more cameras because people want to be associated with what their ideal is, and "collectors" that have a hole in their pocket will want to own them like collectors that dabble in guitar playing own a $15K 1962 fender strat that hangs on a wall. It conjures the myth of historical "design." Which it is. Corbu, Albers, Gropius, Breuer. All giants in the design field. I would venture to say that most who aspire to own or already own Leica's know who those people are and the impact they had on design and architecture. Besides, the cost to manufacture this special edition is minimal to nothing. No content to generate, no hardware, no publishing, nothing. 

Leica ownership is a culture, and everybody knows it. Adding those "value adding" extras would place Leica in the same category as it's competitors in a lower class of manufacturer. They don't do bells and whistles because it's "Leica." Subdued. Classic. Time honored, and respected and not overrun by commercialism. And that, aside from being overpriced and of exceptional quality and design, is what separates it from most other camera manufacturers, and has for a very long time. A simple yet elegant nod to the Bauhaus seems like a very good marketing ploy.

 

I would disagree with your final point. If I buy a limited edition Lange or Patek Philippe, or Bugatti, or Pagani I get value-adds from the company. The challenge at this level is to provide customers with bragging rites, something sufficiently exclusive they will likely never see another one coming in the opposite direction, additional bespoke options, privileged access to the inner sanctum of the company, and advanced notice of new product launches or events. When you do it well you create another more exclusive ring of an already exclusive club. Does the Bauhaus 100 CL do that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a completely different price point, and margins are obscene. If Leica went that route they'd price out their already exclusive membership. Including me. The CL is $4,000. Not $400,000, Or $800,000. That's precisely why I think doing what you suggest brings it to "fan club" status instead. It would downgrade the brand. 

Anyway. My .02 cents. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Le Chef said:

I would disagree with your final point. If I buy a limited edition Lange or Patek Philippe, or Bugatti, or Pagani I get value-adds from the company. The challenge at this level is to provide customers with bragging rites, something sufficiently exclusive they will likely never see another one coming in the opposite direction, additional bespoke options, privileged access to the inner sanctum of the company, and advanced notice of new product launches or events. When you do it well you create another more exclusive ring of an already exclusive club. Does the Bauhaus 100 CL do that?

This is getting  completely out of proportion. The CL Bauhaus adds a bit of design and exclusivity for those who wish it, at a 30% higher price. I fail to see how that compares to  the brands exclusiveness and pricing mentioned above.

It is not even expensive or exclusive enough to qualify as a collector's item. It is just an nice edition to commemorate 100 years of Bauhaus, which Leica design has some affinity with. I like it, if I had some money to burn I might even buy it for that reason. It is a bit silly IMO to discuss it ad absurdum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Jaap has a point.  It's just a nice leather cover - it's not as if Leica is heralding this as anything other than that - at least, not the way I read it.  Buying a CL, or an a la carte camera, isn't addicting you to an exclusive club.  There is a mystique about Leica, almost like the Patek Phillipe line - "you don't own a Patek Phillipe, you're just looking after it for the next generation" ...  oh, if only that were true!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...