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Eliott Peck, Canon USA: Satisfaction Beyond the Sale

January 10, 2013
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A self-professed sci-fi fan, Eliott Peck uses Star Trek terms like “prime directive” when describing the guiding principles behind his zeal for satisfying the needs of consumers. Indeed, his entire career has been infused with a true sense of mission ever since Peck, senior vice president and general manager for Imaging Technologies and Communications Group (ITCG) Sales at Canon U.S.A., joined the company in 1975, just 48 hours after graduating from college.

A photography buff, he began in customer service and then moved to the technical department, where he worked side by side with pro photographers. His next transition was to sales, where he learned on the job. In 1989, 10 years later, having achieved the company’s top sales award, Canon U.S.A. president and CEO Joe Adachi moved Peck to the management side.

Since then, working together with personal mentors Adachi and Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager at ITCG, he has been instrumental in helping to steer the company through changes in the retail landscape and toward a pro-active philosophy of designing ‘hit’ products for the U.S. market, such as the professional Canon Cinema EOS line.

Peck has seen industry retail channels evolve from camera shops to mail order dealers to mass merchants and then to electronics stores and Internet sites. Along the way, he has seen the cameras reach technological heights unimaginable when he started out.

“There was turbulence in the market even back in the ’70s and early ’80s. The rise of mail order was a tremendous disruption. And at the same time, it grew the business.

We went through this before, and what’s happening now is just the next evolution in where people shop,” he said. “It’s disruptive if you have a traditional business. But many of our retail partners have adapted smartly to this and found ways to engage clients. And at the same time, for a lot of categories, the overall business is growing. It’s really about the consumer.”

The consumers’ love of preserving memories with cameras is the one constant that has always informed the direction of product development at Canon, resulting in designs that make image capture—and now, image sharing—easier. But what really sets a company like Canon apart, Peck said, is satisfaction beyond the sale.


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