2015 – what a fantastic year!

2015 – what a fantastic year!

December 24, 2015 , oddny.edwards

Vanguard have so many fantastic products – Tripods, Camera Bags, Cases, Binoculars and Spotting Scopes to name a few.  Over time we’ve found that those who buy one of our products often buy another, or come back several years later to upgrade the product they bought.  As we’re a family owned business who designs and manufacture all our products, feedback on our strengths consistently highlights our great product features, great quality and great value for money.

Having said that, the number of times we heard words like “This is great, I’m surprised I’ve never heard of you before!” was amazing.  We seem to be the best kept secret in the photography industry!  That gave us our objective for 2015 - STOP BEING THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN PHOTOGRAPHY!

We kicked things off at the Photography Show where we had the first Vanguard dedicated stand in the UK displaying a broad range of our products and manned by the team.  The response was amazing and we ended up selling out of most of the stock we took and having to take orders that we would send out after the show which was a real surprise in this day and age where we normally want it now.

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At the Photography Show we also introduced our VEO travel collection of travel tripods, monopods and bags, backed up by our first marketing campaign in leading magazines and online.  Feedback from the visitors to our stand was amazing and we had pre-orders for products that weren’t available for another three months.  This great feedback has been backed up by the awards the range has won throughout the year from leading photography publications – Amateur Photographer, NPhoto and What Digital Camera to name a few. The VEO 265CB and the VEO 204AB are also finalists in the Photography News for best carbon fibre tripod (let alone travel tripod!) and best travel tripod respectively.  If you haven’t checked out the VEO travel collection yet, we urge you to do so before you make a decision as we firmly believe the combination of innovation, features and price is unbeatable as far as travel tripods go!  vanguardworld

Summer saw our new Havana camera bag range impress the editors wining recommended recognition in Amateur Photographer for the Havana 33 shoulder bag.  This product is designed to be lightweight, not to look like a shoulder bag and is perfect for compact system cameras, with an interior that can be removed allowing it to be used as a straightforward shoulder bag.  Building on this we held an online competition for three Havana 33’s and had record breaking number of entries!

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The Glastonbury of Birds (British Birdfair in Rultand) was another record breaking show for us! Having been upgraded to a marquee alongside the Optics area, Vanguard had the most successful year to date at the show, with visits from celebrities and other leading brands. The Endeavor ED II  was again one of the main stars of the show thanks to the Japanese HOYA glass that delivers an incredible optical performance (even in lower light conditions) for a reasonable price.

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The hero of the Birdfair has to have been the VEO 235AP travel tripod with a pan-head.  Many visitors to the stand regaled us with tales of amazing birdwatching trips to exotic locations such as Madagascar and South America, but apart from the hardened few, most only took their binoculars as their tripod was too difficult to pack and/or lug around with them.  This limited the view they could get of some amazing wildlife as they couldn’t take their spotting scopes.  The feedback on the VEO 235AP was that it allowed birdwatchers to take their spotting scopes with them and get much closer to the action, thanks to it’s portability (lightweight and folds up small enough to go into most hand luggage if necessary), without compromising on performance (offering a surprisingly stable platform and taking a load of up to 3.5kg with a fluid motion). If you’re planning a birdwatching holiday in 2016, then it’s worth checking out this tripod to see if it works for you.

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As we run into Christmas we’ve continued to see great coverage and reviews about Vanguard products from leading publications – Digital Camera, Practical Photographer, Photography News, Amateur Photography and many more. All this independent feedback is overwhelmingly positive which is amazing to see.

We’re also building our Vanguard Professionals UK team  with a mix of established and up-and-coming young photographers/naturalists to share their great photos/articles, alongside hints and tips.  If you’re interested in being considered for 2016, get in touch with info@vanguardworld.co.uk. We can’t promise anything, but we’d love to hear from you.

Beginner's Challenge

In addition to all the marketing, we’ve also doubled the number of dealers who now list Vanguard.  This allows you try before you buy in a location near you.  Based on our experience at shows and with professional reviewers, we’re confident that our products will stack up!  If your local dealer doesn’t list Vanguard and you want to try a Vanguard product(s), let us know and we’ll try to make special arrangements with them to get the product(s) you need at a location that’s convenient to you.  For a list of our dealers, click here

As a result, we’ve made a great start to letting lots more people know that Vanguard exists.  You could barely open a magazine in the latter half of 2015 without a mention of Vanguard in some guise, from a full scale review through to an image of a Vanguard tripod being used to illustrate a hint or tip.  Having said that, we still have a lot further to go and the objective remains the same in 2016.  We’ll be building on the learnings we’ve gained in 2015 to drive awareness of the best kept secret in photography!

We also have our 30th birthday in 2016.  Founded in 1986, we’re still owned by the same family who have constantly demonstrated their commitment to the industry over the years, with innovation and investment.  Not many business in the industry have that heritage.  We’d love you to join us in celebrating this birthday, so why not visit us at the 2016 Photography Show?

So thanks to everyone who has helped deliver a successful 2015 – our dealers, our Vanguard Professionals, our global team.  Most importantly, thanks to those who have bought and used our products in 2015, or continue to use the products they bought in past years.  We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and here is to a great New Year.

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The Vanguard Team!

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