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Panasonic OZ Defends Poor Japanese Marketing At TV Launch

Panasonic OZ Defends Poor Japanese Marketing At TV Launch

But don’t expect to see any of that spend on TV. print, billboard or radio advertising.

Instead Panasonic intends to spend on trying to capture the attention of consumers when they are researching a product in a retailer’s web site, when they visit a store or the Companies own website and via social media.

Paul Reed the CEO of Panasonic Australia said at today’s launch when the Company introduced 23 new TV’s several new Blu Ray players several new network sound systems and a massive boom box player, that over 82% of the Australian Companies operation was still consumer electronics and appliances.

When it was put to Reed that the brand was suffering because of a lack of investment in marketing similar to what LG recently rolled out via their World Series Cricket sponsorship that saw the Company get record ratings after spending over $3M on prime time TV in Australia he said “This year, 2015 Panasonic intends to make a multimillion dollar investment in marketing”.

“We need to understand better the consumer path to purchase so we are investing further down this path. We need to get closer to the point of purchase including the research stage of the journey. We need to understand what products they are putting on their short list through to investing in the last 10 feet of a retail store”.

Earlier Richard Tassone the Director of Panasonic’s Consumer Group had defended Panasonics position in the consumer electronics market when it was pointed out that several Japanese brands such as Pioneer, NEC, Fujitsu, Toshiba and of late Sony and Panasonic  had failed to grow market share up against Korean rivals LG and Samsung and Chinese brand Hisense and that several of these brands including Toshiba, Fujitsu, NEC and Pioneer have already quit the Australian market after failing to invest in brand marketing Vs relying on retailer CO-Op marketing.

When it was put to him that Japanese management appeared to have a problem understanding the need for broad based consumer marketing he said “I don’t agree”. 

He then claimed both verbally and in a slide presentation that Panasonic was not one of these Companies and that Panasonic had grown 25% during the past year. 

When it was pointed out that none of that growth was attributable to consumer electronics and that Panasonic was today more of a business to business, energy and airline entertainment system Company than a consumer electronics Company he said “We still make high quality products”.

ChannelNews then suggested that making high quality products (and we did not dispute that Panasonic made high quality products) was one thing, but being able to sell the technology to consumers in the same way that LG, Samsung and Hisense did was something that Panasonic lacked because of the attitude of Japanese management.

Last week SmartHouse asked Panasonic to supply under NDA information on their new TV, sound and media player range so that a deadline could be met for a TV special edition of SmartHouse.

Panasonic rejected the request with Richard Tassone claiming that Japanese Management had been instrumental in denying the request.

When it was put to Tassone that Japanese management were solely responsible for the decline in the Company’s consumer electronics market share in Australia and overseas he did not answer the question.   

Paul Reed said “During the past 12 months we met our consumer electronic targets in Australia”. 

When asked whether they were up on the prior year Reed said “No”.

At today’s launch Panasonic unveiled its 2015 line-up of VIERA 4K TVs that have Quad Core processors built in but no new Ultra HD display technology. 

What was outstanding was the launch of a new Firefox OS interface, which provides quick and easy access content applications and display screen management. 

The new line-up of 4K Ultra HD LED LCD VIERA TVs includes the flagship CX800 Series and the 4K Ultra HD CX740, CX700 and CX640 Series. Panasonic also offers a line-up of Full HD TVs, the CS650A, CS610A and C400A Series. Over 60 per cent of the Panasonic TV range this year is 4K.

The Japanese Company has also launched 3 new soundbars, 2 with All Play, two micro systems and three Mini Systems but they refuse to say how much market share they have in this category which several vendors other than Sony have deserted. 

A market leader in Blu ray players Panasonic has launched six new models including the DMR BWT955GL player that has a triple HD tuner capability and comes with 2 TB of recording capability which the Company sees as being ideal for consumers recording sport and series at home and then being able to access the content of a network remotely when away from home.