Capturing the Hearts & Images of Global Photographers

How Canon built a next gen consumer engagement platform


The Challenge 

The consumer photography/imaging market in Australia has undergone significant generational change in recent years.

Consumers are generating more digital images than ever and they need help to unlock their stories… whilst traditional and non-traditional competitors are taking ownership of consumer’s digital images through ‘cloud storage+’ offers.

At the same time, Canon was faced with Masterbrand crowding and a disconnect between their various sub-brand segmentations & executions.

The Brief

Canon needed to think and compete differently and develop a complete, end-to-end experience.

This was a major change of direction for Canon – establishing a monetised cloud-based service that allows consumers to unlock their stories with secure storage of ‘meaningful’ images and a seamless end-to-end customer experience.


Our Approach


Thinking Beyond the Day-to-Day

We brought to life the cost of inaction and the power of alternative business models through longer-term scenario-planning…

Then built a user-centric programme that spanned exploration, to concept development, UX design & prototyping, business case, internal team restructuring & capability development. 

Redefining Consumer Segments and Missions

We re-mapped the 18 different consumer segments used across Canon consumer imaging and defined 5 new segments. This allowed us to understand their different missions and frustrations, and then deep dive into the current and desired usage journey for each.


The Solution


he original blue-print for Irista - the ‘Canon Image World’ engagement platform - was built around powerful common needs we identified across ALL photographers.

Our focus was to create a ‘vital’ storage and organisation system that sets images free so that people can focus on more rewarding outputs.

The backbone of the offer comes from meaningful and intuitive tagging, which unlocks easier storytelling and sharing.

For more engaged consumers, the platform enabled them to learn and grow as a community, whilst add-on storytelling facilities created new revenue streams for Canon.

Platform Thinking in Action 

 Innovation ‘platforms’ that entail 5 or more different types of innovation have a markedly higher chance of success than insular innovation projects (35-70% compared to 5%). Our user experience brought together 9 of the 10 different types of innovation to create a platform that reaches well beyond just a new digital platform extension.

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Prototyping and choice modelling in unison 

We maintained momentum and the integrity of the full concept through the UX prototype phase. In order to get to market quicker, we ran several stages of implementation development in parallel.

Building a new team structure 

The final piece of the puzzle was to re-structure the marketing team around a Masterbrand strategy with an enhanced digital offer.


We began to realise value almost immediately in terms of changing new segmentation and embedding consumer-centricity in the business. And in the long-term, the project will help future-proof earnings by identifying new business models and revenue streams that we had not previously been considered. Life at Canon was different after that project.

Darren Ryan, Head of Marketing for Consumer Imaging, Canon Australia

The Result 

The concept and plan were picked by Canon Europe and the resulting digital engagement platform – Irista – has launched in both Europe and Australia.

It now sits at the heart of Canon’s digital image storage management across both regions.