What is your background?
I was a civil engineer, roads, buildings, I finished university and worked for a US company on mining projects, then in the building industry. I had my first business venture then. Then came the early 90s recession, and many projects didn’t get finished. I worked with a friend on a mine site, who was interested in computers, he was computer geek, and I was marketing guy, back in 90s, first computer very early. Then we inherited software, a trial demo version, pre html, and not online. This enabled us to create interactive software and we worked with Australian Telecom, to deliver the content, by a series of floppy discs. We also used a video capture card, it took 1 min to catch an image, and was an early version of digital photography.
This was a long time ago, we imported the product and distributed them. Many people wanted it, and this progressed as we grew our company. Kaiser Baas as a brand is now 10 years old. We then moved into digital cameras, with people keeping the images on the cards. Next we got digital photo frames for Australia, to help people showcase these images. At first it wasn’t sure if any interest in them, and then for next 3 years it grew and grew.
Ireland was our first market, and has proven to be a success. Black Friday worked well, and went well across 12 stores. We then entered UK market, 17 months ago, Maplin was our first supplier, and exclusive. We aim to expand the range now with new dash cameras, and drones, in Ireland and UK, it’s all growing too.
— Evan Kourambas (@EvanKourambas) July 16, 2016
How was the last 12 months for the Business? How hard is it to get out of Australia and go global?
There are lot of challenges, it went well in Australia. We became a challenger brand to the market leaders. We’ve found there are lots of challenges. First you need to establish a relationship with retailer, for example like here in Ireland. Then we’re looking at Moscow next, and we will see who they want to use as a distributor. We offer a good alternative to the well known brands, but it takes time to grow your market share.
— Maplin Ayr (@Maplin_Ayr) June 8, 2016
What do you think about bricks and mortar vs online sales?
We’re doing it mostly in Australia as a chanel brand in retail stores, we’re not there as an online brand. We are going down retail route for now, looking for influencers, clubs and social media to support the product. We don’t find traditional adverts as appealing.
— Ben Moore (@Benmooreracing) June 4, 2016
What kind of influencers do you look for?
We look for local normal people, those who go out playing with their kids, fishing, not the extreme athletes, more ‘average Joe’, and up and coming people like Ben Moore, who is a mountain biker. GoPro became successful because of a good in-store presence, and this is something we are looking to do too.
We’re also aiming to narrow it down in terms of what we offer as a photography company, looking at live streaming camera for events too – we see this as a way to go. We want to be known as specialist camera company.
— Nadia El Ferdaoussi (@nadia_dailyself) May 6, 2016
What are your plans for the future?
Future, where to go? We’re a marketing company more than a product company. We see ourselves as low product price company, we will look at products, and where we want to go as a company. We’re strong in NZ and Mexico, then we’d like to grow in Russia and Canada. We’d then target the US later as it is a big market. Our potential is quite big, we’re not lacking in customers, but we’re lacking in deliverables, so the challenge about scaling, and takes 6 – 12 months to be profitable in a new market.
We’re launching new range at CES too, with higher quality, at a lower price.
What do you think of the challenge from Chinese products?
In relation to the Chinese, we have a good marketing and business model in our favour. The Chinese not yet able to engage with multi channel marketing. DJI are doing it very well, so the Chinese can develop good products, but have not yet successfully mastered selling to western markets.
What are your plans for the content created by Kaiser Baas devices?
There is a lot generated by Kaiser Baas, but we’re not yet actively collecting and hosting their content, it will be good to get showcase of the user’s content, we plan to do more of this in 2017.