Canon retains its popularity amongst laser printer partners; the channel laps up its marketing initiatives and commercial terms—areas exactly where HP falters to overall fall behind Canon
Canon has retained its #1 position in the laser printers category in the Channel Satisfaction Survey in 2015. This puts an end to the yearly game of musical chairs taking place between Canon and HP for the top slot in the last few years. More importantly, this shows how strongly Canon has entrenched itself in the mindshare of the channel partners notwithstanding the avalanche of product launches happening from the HP stable during the year.
What makes Canon such a favorite of the channel partners? Its innovative market development programs, co-op funding, product pricing, profit margins, flexible commercial terms, proactive service approach and fast turnaround time take the cake. Canon also has an effective partner portal, offers rich online resources and maintains an interactive site for resolving partner queries which offers prompt answers. Canon is also consistent in communicating to channel partners and in honoring commitments made to them. Its training and certification programs and reward systems are also keeping partners satisfied.
HP is the leader technology-wise, has the most diverse product range, scores highly on product reliability, user-friendliness and conformance to specifications. Nevertheless, it lost points to Canon on almost all other categories. Partners are unhappy with the market development funds (MDFs) HP provides, its promptness (or the lack of it) on stock replacement and even its ability to provide satisfactory repair and replacement services. There is also some disgruntlement amongst partners about HP’s transparency in commercial terms and policies, its credit policies and even its profit margins for partners.
Samsung enjoys a steady following amongst its loyal laser printer partners on many fronts though it lags behind Canon and HP on all counts. Where Samsung falters even behind the likes of Panasonic and Xerox are around commercial terms and relationship management measures. High attrition means Samsung often lacks dedicated personnel for channel relationship management leading to disruption in communication and inconsistency in honoring commitments.