This year, as part of its promise to create “A Better Life, A Better World,” Panasonic shifted its focus from consumer products to the spaces that people thrive in, organizing its strategy around three B2B markets: home and living, business, and automotive.
To accelerate the shift to B2B, Panasonic focuses on building its presence in the Internet of Things. It has made a point of merging its existing abilities with those of high-profile partners. In tandem with its Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town initiative, it announced the development of a “Smart City” in Yokohama, a high-tech, eco-friendly complex that will house Apple’s new research and development center. Panasonic also introduced advanced technologies to support connected vehicles at the 2014 Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress (ITS) in Detroit and is developing a cloud service in partnership with Toyota that links cars to home appliances. Panasonic is also big on wearables—its new robotic suit is designed to help workers do heavy lifting. Robot porters and wearable translation devices are also in the brand’s plans for its 2020 Olympics sponsorship.
While focusing on business partnerships, the brand remains connected to its consumer market. It plans to introduce a “Japan Premium” brand in the ASEAN region and create new high-value products aimed at China’s wealthy class. In 2014, Panasonic relaunched its defunct audio brand, Technics, and recently announced the revival of its signature turntables. With the goal of delivering a high-impact audio experience to listeners, the brand also plans to leverage Technics technology in its automotive endeavors.
People—and partnerships—fueled Panasonic’s recent marketing efforts. Panasonic tapped big names like Scholastic, Meredith Digital, AARP, Grandparents.com, and SheKnows Media—as well as its own employee ambassadors—to promote HomeTeam, a cloud-based service designed to connect long-distance grandparents and their grandchildren. The brand also linked its social initiatives to its social media efforts with the interactive “Cut Out the Darkness” campaign. Website visitors can learn about the plight of global communities lacking electricity, and are encouraged to create, share, and vote on their own LED lantern designs.
Panasonic is powered by unceasing momentum and a broad array of strengths. The continued execution of a “Cross-Value Innovation 2015” strategic plan and the restructuring of unprofitable business sectors have driven operating profit up by 25
percent this year.