Gap Score

President Kazuhiro Tsuga set the tone this year with his 2013 CES opening keynote address highlighting Panasonic's commitment to offer innovative, eco-friendly, and smart solutions. The focus is on products that are not simply green but also enrich lives, creating real value for customers around the world. The scale of the brand’s reach is shown by the recent opening of state-of-the-art factories in India, Brazil, and Vietnam. Meanwhile, in November, Panasonic unveiled a wide range of Eco Navi products, complete with “China Environmental Labeling Type II,” the highest environmental protection product certification issued by the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection. Closer to home, the brand announced it would be supplying batteries for Toyota Motor's eQ Electric Vehicle, as well as launching a Smart Home Energy Management System in Japan. With the upcoming opening of new North American headquarters in New Jersey that will be LEED Platinum Certified, the highest standard for environmental design, Panasonic is delivering on its promises. However, as this year’s ranking shows, these initiatives are not getting the recognition they deserve. For the last two years Panasonic’s global perception score has lagged behind its performance score, and 2013 unfortunately sees little change. While in Japan the brand is recognized as a leader, this is not the case elsewhere. In many ways, this reality is reflected in the strategic shift that Mr. Tsuga has initiated—as many other companies have also found, sustainability efforts alone are not enough, they need to be communicated in a meaningful manner to capture customers’ hearts and drive business.