This Week in Imaging: Can Fuji Make a ‘Fujifilm Business’ Brand Work for Printers and MFPs?

Probably one of the most well-known brand names around the world is the Xerox brand name. But this week, Fujifilm announced it would be ending its technology agreement with Xerox in March 2021. It also announced that it would be rebranding Fuji Xerox printers and MFPs under a new brand – “Fujifilm Business Innovation” in 2021.

The ending of the technology agreement also ends sales territories, giving  Xerox access to Fuji Xerox’s Asia-Pacific markets, including Australia and New Zealand, and Fuji Xerox access to Xerox’s North American and European markets.

For Xerox, there will be no branding confusion. It will still be able to use “Xerox.” In Asia-Pacific, customers may wonder what happened to the “Fuji” part, but, as Xerox will still be obtaining hardware from Fuji Xerox (and vice-versa), sales reps won’t have to explain much.

For Fuji Xerox, selling under a new “Fujifilm Business Innovation” brand will be more confusing. First, say “Fujifilm” and customers naturally  first think of cameras. Second, how is the sales rep to explain that the printer/MFP is actually still a Fuji Xerox machine? “You see, back in 1962, Fuji Xerox was created in partnership with Xerox and Rank Xerox. But Fujifilm purchased 75 percent in 2001. And then last year, Xerox, which sources most of its hardware from Fuji Xerox, sold its 25-percent interest in Fuji Xerox, leading Fujifilm to change the brand name…”

Meanwhile, Xerox can continue just calling everything Xerox. Most customers probably don’t know that Xerox doesn’t manufacture hardware itself now, or about its Fuji Xerox partnership. If asked about it, the Xerox sales rep in Asia-Pacific can just say that Xerox dropped the “Fuji” to make things simpler. The Fujifilm Business Innovation sales rep may have to explain a lot more. In the end, Fujifilm may have been a lot better off just keeping “Fuji Xerox” and let Xerox do any explaining.

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