The world is officially divided into two types of people: those who love pineapple on pizza and those who vehemently oppose it. Like the Valencians who sent death threats to chef Jamie Oliver for putting chorizo in his paella, surely an Italian brand like Manfrotto wouldn’t support pineapple on pizza? In the interest of global culinary peace, DIYP spoke to Manfrotto’s parent company Videndum Media Solutions to discover, as well as other things more related to photography.
You may not know the Videndum name, but you certainly know the Manfrotto brands, Lowepro, Joby, Gitzo and wild paper. Videndum Media Solutions is the name behind all these “domestic” photography names, and more. In fact, you can completely outfit a photography or video studio using products that are only made by the Videndum umbrella. It’s actually the company’s overall philosophy, says Videndum marketing director Chris Carr. He tells DIYP how Videndum has positioned itself to help content creators every step of the way.
“We have everything to help the end user,” says Chris. “the mics, the light stands, the stands, the sliders, the lighting, the reflectors. Adding paper backdrops was a natural addition,” he continues, “we will continue to research adjacent products to help the content creator.”
The content creator is Videndum’s target market. And by that, they mean anyone working alone with an iPhone, to larger film crews. The company has evolved with changes in the industry and continues to look to the future. According to Chris, the next big thing will be products in and around content creation for the Metaverse.
“We’ve seen virtual reality recently,” says Chris, “but not to the point where we’re going to see it in the future. As those lines blur, the Metaverse will demand content that goes beyond what we let’s see today. In 5 to 10 years, that’s where it will start to affect us in a big way. It’s about digital reality merging with physical reality,” he adds.
“We’re in a unique and lucky place,” Chris continues, “we need to replicate the physical world with content, but we need to speed up the workflow.”
And that’s exactly where Videndum Media Solutions comes in. Chris explains that the industry has already seen huge changes, moving from large, specialized film crews to much smaller productions, and the days of Mad Men-era ad campaigns are largely over. The barriers to entry are much lower now, we now inhabit a world where everyone from your personal trainer to your nan creates content.
“I had to have a degree in physics to be a photographer,” says Chris, “it’s not the same now. People have an iPhone in their pocket and they can create content.
Chris assures us that in fact this change is a positive thing. There will always be film crews, however, newcomers are shaking up traditional ways and refreshing everything along the way. “At the end of the day, it’s fantastic for everyone in the industry,” says Chris.
User experience and feedback play a central role in product development and marketing these days. “People want authenticity,” says Chris. “To be authentic, you need someone who does it day in and day out. Take a product like a tripod. It needs to be placed in the hands of the user and have them tell the story.” Chris says a lot of their marketing content is actually created by their users, and it all starts with product innovation, it’s a cyclical feedback loop that benefits everyone.
But what about all those different brands that are under the Videndum umbrella? Surely there are conflicting product overlaps? For example, Gitzo, Manfrotto, and Joby all make tripods. How it works?
Chris explains that once again they are user-centric and not product-centric. So yes, all of these brands create tripods, but they all cater to different users. To illustrate, Chris says they divide their brands into framing, composition and creation. By this, it also refers to the end use of the product, as well as the user that each product will attract.
Gitzo’s tripod will be for “framing”. It is the person who wants to capture the real world, in real time, as it presents itself, in the manner of a documentary, for example during a safari. Manfrotto aims squarely at composing. These are people who are less run and gun and more concerned with taking the time to really think ahead about their shots. It also has a degree of flexibility between video and fixed solutions.
On the contrary, Joby is resolutely aimed at creators. That is to say the people who are in front of, behind and laterally in relation to the camera. They want fast, mobile and individual operator solutions. You can clearly see that there is little overlap between these brands, even though they all sell tripods.
It is this focus on users that has made Videndum Media Solutions such an industry giant. It is able to look forward and pivot when necessary, but still keeps its user base firmly at its core.
And in case you’re wondering, I’m with Chris. I’m Team Pineapple!