" When the product is right , you don't have to be a great marketer "
US BusinessmanA- Describe some of your favourite products. Why do you like them? What do they say about you? Which of these products could you not do without?
B- What product would you most like to own? Why? Which product would make your life easier?
C- Do you agree or disagree with these statements? Give reasons for your answers.
1 It is better to pay a bit more for products which are made in your own country.
2 'Organic', 'energy-saving' or 'green' products are overpriced and often not as good as the alternatives.
3 Companies spend far too much on launching and promoting new products.
4 Multinationals which manufacture in developing countries help the world economy.
5 Modern technology-based products do not improve people's lives.
Match the verbs (1-8) to their meanings (a-h).
Listen to the final part and complete these extracts.
launching new products
Discuss these questions.
1 Which countries are strong in the consumer electronics industry?
2 Which companies do you know in that industry?
3 What is the best electronic product you have bought, and why?
4 What Casio products do you know?
Read through the article below quickly to find this information.
1 three examples of problems for the Japanese consumer-electronics industry
2 four examples of Casio's products
3 two examples of major players in professional photography
4 two of Mr Kashio's favourite expressions
5 three examples of rivals to Japan's electronics industry
A path to salvation through innovation
by Robin Harding
Kazuo Kashio has led Casio, the Japanese consumer-electronics company that he founded with his three brothers, for 20 years. Whatever problem is put to him, whether it is the yen's strength, the economy's weakness or the collapse in Japanese mobile-phone sales, the energetic executive has a single answer: launch new products.
"For us as a manufacturer, whether conditions are good or bad is all decided by our products, and our strategy is to make sure as many of them as possible are new," he says. that his long years of selling make him a keen judge of whether a new product will succeed. He perks up considerably when given the chance to praise his gadgets, such as radio-controlled watches that pick up a broadcast signal to set the time, and the toughened G-Shock brand, which redefined watch design.
A source of pride at the moment is Casio's family of high-speed "burst" digital cameras, which can take up to 60 shots a second after the
photographer presses the button.
With such a camera, Mr Kashio Casio plans to replace 50 per cent of its products in the second half of the year.
That strategy amounts to an attempt to maintain sales by taking a larger share of a shrinking market. Challenged as to whether that is possible, given that rivals are not only racing to launch new products says, a photographer can catch the
precise moment at which a batter hits a baseball and judge instantly whether a runner was safe or out.
The product has taken Casio into so the professional photography market,
which is dominated by Canon and Nikon. to one", to describe how Casio creates something that did not exist - such as the electronic calculator that started it all in 1 957 - from scratch. but also cutting prices, Mr Kashio argues that Casio's products are unique enough to do it.
This confidence in his products is typical of M r Kashio. He often says Two of Mr Kashio's favourite phrases sum up the family's approach to research and development. One is to resist "preconceived ideas" of what a device should do and how it should do it; the other is "from zero Mr Kashio argues that Japan's electronics industry can stay ahead or its rivals in Taiwan, China and South Korea if it keeps innovating.
His hopes for the future are those of a family company: to maintain Casio's stability and to keep the new t0 products coming.
Read the article again. Then decide whether (according to the text) these statements are true (T), false (F) or not mentioned (NM).
1 The Casio Tower is located in the Shinjuku district o f Tokyo.
2 Mr Kashio's answer to the problems he faces is to launch new products.
3 Casio's rivals are focusing mainly on cutting prices.
4 Mr Kashio is confident about the company's financial position, as it has no debt.
5 Mr Kashio says he is good at deciding whether a new product will succeed, because he has a lot of experience of selling.
6 Mr Kashio is proud of Casio's high-speed 'burst' digital cameras.
7 Casio dominates the professional photography market.
8 Mr Kashio's main hope is that Casio will make more and more profits.
Work in groups of three or four. You have a very large budget to launch a product of your choice i n your country. How would you launch the product?
• We make passive verb forms with the verb be + past participle.
The Cosio G-Shock GW-5000 is made in Japan.
• We often choose a passive structure when we are not interested in, or it is not
necessary to know, who performs an action.
This lens is often used in skateboarding photo shoots.
• I f we want to mention who performs an action, we can use by.
The professional photography market is dominated by Canon and Nikon.
• We can use the passive to describe a process, system or procedure.
Finally, all Cosio products are tested before shipping.
Work in small groups.
1 Think of an innovative new product you would like to launch. Prepare a short presentation about the product.
Consider its main features and benefits for the user.
2 Form new groups and present your products to each other. Answer any questions that you are asked about them.