September 16, 2015
Case Study

Event Marketing: Fuji Xerox achieves 240% of sales target via a fashion show

SUMMARY: "It was just one of those things that was incredibly powerful and very motivating for the sales people. They were there with their customers with this fantastic event going on around them," Steven Caunce, Corporate Affairs Manager, Fuji Xerox, New Zealand, said about his team's product launch campaign.

To generate excitement for the Versant 2100 printer, the team at Fuji Xerox created a fashion show featuring a fictional designer, complete with direct mail "lookbooks." Learn how it generated new sales, inspired the brand's sales team and accounted for 34% of the Asia-Pacific sales total.
by Kayla Cobb, Reporter


"When you think Fuji Xerox, you should think Xerox Corporation," Steven Caunce, Corporate Affairs Manager, Fuji Xerox, New Zealand, said.

Fuji Xerox is the joint venture operation between Fuji Film and Xerox Corporation, with Fuji Film acting as 75% shareholder. Fuji Xerox is a document print company that sells photocopiers, printers and related services to businesses.

The company sells exclusively to B2B audiences and is a direct selling organization in New Zealand. While Fuji Xerox is part of a large international company, the team at the New Zealand branch is locally run by the New Zealand management team.

According to Caunce, the branch's core philosophy is to be a strong, kind and interesting organization. By this, he means that Fuji Xerox strives to be financially strong, actively use its place in the market to help the community and be an interesting and engaging company. This focus on kindness stems from New Zealand's philosophy when it comes to business.

"[There's] a real sense here in New Zealand that large corporations have a responsibility to be an active part of the community," Caunce said. "We do a lot of work with young people here in New Zealand, so the stronger we are, the kinder we can be."

Specifically, the businesses that Fuji Xerox serves are organizations that have printing needs and have, on average, more than 20 employees. The brand has clients ranging from small businesses to large corporations, including banks.

However, for this campaign, the team at Fuji Xerox was more focused on clients who make money through printing, i.e. commercial printers and copy shops.


The team at Fuji Xerox was looking at launching a new product — the Versant 2100 Press, which is a printer designed for HD printing. However, the team ran into a challenge when it came to building excitement for the printer.

"The products that we're selling, they're not sexy products. We're not selling a new iPhone or luxury cars," Caunce said.

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

For the promotion of this product launch, Caunce and his team wanted to create an event or campaign that would generate excitement from customers, demonstrate the product's capabilities through a direct mail piece and inspire the brand's sales people. This last goal was especially important.

"As we're a direct selling organization, getting sales people really bought into campaigns that we run is very, very important to us," he said. "We wanted to get the sales people really, really engaged in what we were trying to do."

The final challenge of this campaign dealt with the industry's competitiveness and the cost of the Versant 2100.

"We're trying to sell very large, expensive machines to people who make money printing," he said.


By working closely with a creative agency and the brand's sales team, the marketing team at Fuji Xerox launched a fashion show, which presented the work of fictional designer Alfonso Versant.

This event and the direct mail pieces leading up to it showcased the capabilities of the Versant 2100 in a creative way, allowed the sales team an exciting avenue to promote to their clients and generated new business for the brand. This campaign also fit Fuji Xerox's three-part philosophy.

The sales generated from this campaign can be accredited to making Fuji Xerox a stronger company, and recruiting designers from a New Zealand fashion school gave these students access to a high-end project, serving the kindness aspect of the brand's philosophy. Additionally, a B2B using a fashion show to launch an HD printing product certainly falls into the 'interesting' category.

"This campaign in particular really covers all of those elements," Caunce said. "It was the campaign that allowed us to generate new business, allowed us to engage and provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for some young people here in New Zealand."

For the team that worked on it, he added, "it was probably the highlight of their career to work on a campaign such as this."

Learn how, through this innovative, multi-part event campaign, New Zealand accounted for 34% of the Asia-Pacific total for the Fuji Xerox three-month launch phase, even though the New Zealand brand makes up less than 1% of the region.

Step #1. Develop campaign ideas and parameters

The first thing the team at Fuji Xerox did was establish requirements for the campaign. The marketing team decided that they wanted to create a theme for the product launch, which included sending a direct mail piece to a select group of customers.

As previously mentioned, this campaign was focused on creating excitement for customers and the sales team, generating new business and incorporating elements of social good, if possible.

"It wasn't mandatory, but we thought if we can do something that allows us to work with some young people on this as well, that would be fantastic," Caunce said.

Once these parameters were set, the marketing team worked closely with its creative agency and the sales team at Fuji Xerox. Including the sales team from the beginning was a crucial component to the campaign, he added.

"Right from the very beginning of the campaign, we got our sales people involved," he said. "We had two senior sales people in those meeting helping to choose the campaign, so they felt that this was their campaign as much as a marketing campaign."

The marketing and sales teams at Fuji Xerox started working with its agency in May of 2014 and, within four to six weeks, the team started working on creative directions. One idea was politically themed in reference to the upcoming New Zealand election and another theme centered on Mexican wrestling.

However, the team chose a creative direction that was largely inspired by the product's name. According to Caunce, the creative team thought the name "Versant" sounded like a fashion designer.

Creating Alfonso Versant

Once the team decided to move forward with this fashion-forward approach, the creative agency then worked on creating the fictional designer, Alfonso Versant, of the clothing empire The Haus of Versant.

The marketing team at Fuji Xerox worked closely with the creative team, informing them about what types of colors worked best on the Versant 2100 printer as well as what type of printing techniques they wanted "Versant's" work to showcase.

From there, the agency determined Versant's personality and appearance. The creation of this character contributed to the authenticity of the event while adding a tongue-in-cheek playfulness to the campaign.

Step #2. Determine elements needed for event

This step was a twofold process: the team had to decide what elements they wanted to incorporate into the campaign as well as prepare for a fashion show.

For the campaign itself, the team determined that they would need to host an actual fashion show, which had to be finished by September. According to Caunce, September is the end of Fuji Xerox's first half of the year, and the team wanted to leave some time after the event to get early sales.

Incorporating a direct mail piece was also decided early on. The team decided to make this piece Versant's "lookbook."

Orchestrating the event itself required juggling several moving parts. The team at Fuji Xerox had to first find a fashion school that could work with the company to create dresses for the event. Because the team started looking in July and many schools already had curriculums built out, this was an especially difficult challenge for the team.

Then there were the challenges that come with actually putting on a fashion show.

"We'd never done a fashion show before so we didn't quite know. Initially, we didn't scale," Caunce said.

The team planned on only featuring two dresses until they spoke to one of their customers, who is a leading fashion designer in New Zealand. Under this designer's guidance and the guidance of another member who had contributed to New Zealand Fashion Week, the marketing and creative team was able to upgrade Fuji Xerox's upcoming show from an amateur to a must-see event.

The two dress goal was increased to 14 dresses, and models, makeup artists, hair stylists and music were added to the approaching event.

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

Step #3. Work with fashion school students

Though it was difficult finding a school that could work with the team's deadlines, Fuji Xerox eventually found its designers in late July. On August 14, the team briefed the students on deadlines and requirements for the upcoming fashion show.

"We had all the fashion students come into our office here," Caunce said. "We showed them the machine, and we got our ad agency to talk about this character — the fashion designer — and what [his] inspirations are. We showed them the different types of paper stocks that were available, just to get the students thinking about what it is they could be doing."

The students worked in teams of two and had from August 14 to September 5 to come up with their dress ideas. On September 5, all of the teams presented their ideas to the Fuji Xerox team.

The Fuji Xerox team only had one limitation for the student designers — the dress had to be made of material printed on a Fuji Xerox machine. This allowed the designers to showcase the many possibilities of Fuji Xerox printers. Traditional paper was used as well as tissue papers and cardboard stocks.

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

After learning about the requirements and having their ideas approved, students had from September 5 to September 18 — the event launch date — to effectively turn their ideas into actual dresses.

This entire process required Caunce and his team to trust these designers.

"A lot of these students were quite young. They were probably 18, 19 years of age, and we've done some campaigns before with young people where the end result had been a bit questionable," he said. "There's always a degree of nervousness as to what these dresses are actually going to look like."

Even though the Fuji Xerox team wouldn't see the art until a couple of days before the event, this trust was well-placed.

"When we saw the end result, we were like, 'Wow, this is amazing,'" Caunce said.

Step #4. Create direct mail lookbook

Another major aspect of this campaign was the direct mail "lookbook," which was sent to a select group of clients prior to the event.

This lookbook — designed by the fictitious Versant — showed off the capabilities of the Versant 2100 product, showcasing the different types of paper it could print on and the types of finishing the machine offered. The direct mail piece also included a letter from Versant and an invitation to the event.

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

This demonstration of the Versant 2100's abilities was told between notes, drawings and diary entries from the fictional Alfonso Versant. The creative team worked closely with Fuji Xerox's marketing and technical teams to ensure this direct mail piece demonstrated the printer's capabilities.

"It was very close collaboration between the creatives at the agency and our technical team to make sure that this lookbook, after the event, had a life of its own as a high quality print sample," Caunce said.

Collaboration with Sales

For this portion of the campaign, the team relied largely on Sales to determine which clients to mail the direct piece to and invite to the event. The Fuji Xerox team targeted a small but well-qualified database of clients the sales team engaged with on a day-to-day basis.

"We knew getting the database was reasonably straight forward," Caunce said. "Getting them to come along to the event was more of a challenge."

Overall, the team sent 297 direct mail pieces and event invitations.

Step #5. Execute the event

Like all live events, there were challenges that occurred the night of Fuji Xerox's fashion show. Caunce likened some of the drama that unfolded backstage to that of a real fashion show.

"We had one model that wouldn't wear a dress, and one of the dresses didn't make it to the runaway," he said.

There were also challenges when it came to the event's venue, which was a car showroom. Using a car showroom is a typical practice for fashion shows, but on the night of this B2B event, the team only had three hours to transform the space into a high fashion catwalk. However, all of the creative and organizational elements came together the night of the event.

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

"When the lights dimmed, the music goes and they got these models walking down the catwalk," Caunce describes, "our team was looking at the pillars, grinning and thinking, 'Oh my God, we didn't think it was going to be anywhere near as good as this.'"

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

The event was an overall success, and the team's dedication to authenticity paid off. The creative agency even hired a New Zealander to play Versant for launch night.

"The students were unbelievable in terms of their commitment to the project," he added.


As a result of this innovative direct mail and event-focused B2B campaign, the New Zealand branch of Fuji Xerox accounted for 240% of the sales target at the three month mark.

At the five month mark, the New Zealand team's sales accounted for 328% of sales. Additionally, the New Zealand branch accounted for 34% of the Asia-Pacific total for the Fuji Xerox three-month launch phase, even though the New Zealand brand makes up less than 1% of the region.

Caunce credited the campaign's success to three things:
  • Collaboration with the sales team

  • High-class execution

  • The campaign's focus on fun

Speaking to that last point, Caunce said, "I think a lot of the times business can be boring. Product launches can be boring. Direct mail can be boring. This [campaign] was fun. People now look forward to the different campaigns that we do."

"There is an excitement around receiving a Fuji Xerox direct mail piece," he added. "It's not a picture of a photocopier and 'Come and have a look at the new photocopier.'"

Though the campaign was difficult to execute and the team faced multiple challenges, Caunce and his team were pleased with the results. When asked what he would do differently in hindsight, Caunce said that the only thing he would change was that he would invite more clients and more people on the brand-side.

"We have a view here at Fuji Xerox — if you're going to do something, either do it really well or don't do it at all," Caunce said. "We applied that across everything that we did."

"There's a seriousness to [the campaign] because we're trying to sell some products, but we want to try and do it in an environment where people are going to have a bit of fun as well," he concluded.

Steve Caunce, Corporate Affairs Manager, and Gavin Pollard, Managing Director, both of Fuji Xerox, will be speaking on this campaign at MarketingSherpa Summit 2016, held February 22-24 in Las Vegas.

Keep reading MarketingSherpa newsletters to see case studies from other Summit speakers.

Creative Samples

  1. Versant 2100 Press

  2. Additions added to the event

  3. Image of students working on designs

  4. Versant’s "lookbook"

  5. Event dress one

  6. Event dress two


Fuji Xerox

Fuji Xerox New Zealand

Republik — Fuji Xerox's creative agency

Related Resources

MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 — At the Bellagio in Las Vegas, February 22-24

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