Panasonic was started on March 7,1918, when Konosuke Matsushita moved from his tiny dwelling to a larger two-story house and set up Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works. The staff consisted of three people: the 23-year-old Matsushita, 22-year-old Mumeno and her brother Toshio lue, then just 15. They converted the three rooms on the ground floor into a workshop and installed two hand-operated presses for molding insulation. Although production started with fan insulator plates, Matsushita was convinced that there was a huge untapped market for convenient, high quality household electrical fixtures. He stayed up late at night refining his designs, ultimately choosing to manufacture two new products-an attachment plug and a two-way socket. They proved popular as they were of higher quality than other products on the market and were 30% to 50% cheaper. By the end of 1918, the company employed 20 people. On October 1, 2008, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. became Panasonic Corporation and its ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange was changed to PC from MC. This name change also took effect for some of the group companies that used the names Matsushita or National. Along with the name change, Panasonic began working on the brand changeover from National to Panasonic in Japan, which was completed by the end of March 2010. The Panasonic brand name was created in 1955 and was first used as a brand for audio speakers. It is a combination of the words, “Pan”, and “Sonic”, sound and has a meaning of bringing sound our Company creates to the world.
Panasonic’s mission statement is “A Better Life, A Better World”. Panasonic is committed to creating a better world, continuously for the evolution of society and for the happiness of people around the globe. Improving people’s lives through creating goods needed for society or through providing wholehearted services are vitally important. After all, business is ultimately for the betterment of our society. That is where the mission and value of every business exist.
The very first product manufactured was the attachment plug which was put on the market upon the establishment of Matsushita Electric in 1918.The plug was made from a resin, and the design was quite new and unique in those days. When it was first established in 1918, the company was known as Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works, which was changed to Matsushita Electric Manufacturing Works in 1929. The company used the name Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. after its incorporation as a joint stock corporation in 1935. While the company used the National and Panasonic brand names over a long period, it decided in 2003 to position Panasonic as its global brand with the brand slogan “Panasonic ideas for life”.
On October 1, 2008, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. became Panasonic Corporation and its ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange was changed to PC from MC. This name change, also took effect for some of the group companies that used the names Matsushita or National. Along with the name change, Panasonic began working on the brand changeover from National to Panasonic in Japan, which was completed by the end of March 2010.
The Panasonic brand name was created in 1955 and was first used as a brand for audio speakers. It is a combination of the words, “Pan”, and “Sonic”, sound and has a meaning of bringing sound our Company creates to the world.
Since 2008, it is used as the corporate brand representing the Company, products and services.
There are four major areas that the company focuses on to ensure successful business:
- Recognized Corporate Structure
- Unprofitable businesses
- Reviewed transferring businesses/ growth strategy
- Escaping from financial crisis
By reorganizing their corporate structure, Panasonic opted to reform their head office through the establishment of newer business divisions and divisional companies. As for their unprofitable business, there were guidelines for major unprofitable businesses. They have reviewed transferring businesses and growth strategy by formulating and started a mid-term plan. To aid against a pending financial crisis, they created a group wide activity to generate cash.
Panasonic corporation is comprised of various business domain companies, from AV to home appliances, to industrial solutions and other consumer electronic products. Each company has its distinct production and sales functions that satisfy specific needs worldwide. The domain companies are Appliances Company, Eco Solutions Company, Connected Solutions Company and Automotive & Industrial Systems Company. The Appliances Company manufacture and sales consumer electronics like flat panel TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, personal-care products, microwave ovens, home audio equipment, video equipment, vacuum cleaners, rice cookers, air-conditioners (such as room air-conditioners, large-sized air-conditioners), cold chain (such as showcases), and devices (such as compressors, fuel cells). The Eco Solutions Company manufacture and sales products such as lighting fixtures, lamps, wiring devices, solar photovoltaic systems, water-related products, interior furnishing materials, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment, air purifiers, nursing-care and bicycle related products. The Connected Solutions Company provides solutions for development, manufacturing, sales of products, system integration, installation, support& maintenance, and service operations. The targeted areas are aviation, manufacturing, entertainment retail, and logistics. The automotive & industrial Systems Company manufacture and sales automotive infotainment and electronics products (such as car-use-multimedia-related equipment, electrical components), energy products (such as lithium-ion batteries, Primary batteries), industrial devices (such as electronic components, electromechanical control components, electronic materials, semiconductors, display, electric motors).
When looking at Panasonic’s SWOT analysis by Pestle Analysis, Panasonic’s strengths rely on a solid market position and brand, high quality products and a large variety of products. Panasonic is well-known for their various cameras and for reputation of Japanese innovation and quality. This company produces long-lasting electronics of high standards, allowing them to manufacture over 10,000 products. Their level of production places Panasonic in a strong position for different market environments and strategies. However, their weaknesses state that the expensive products and inefficient management allows for other big tech companies such as Samsung, to compete for their customer base. As for inefficient management, Panasonic tends to restructure their Head office because of internal management issues, hence the overly diverse product line.
In addition to strengths and weaknesses, Panasonic’s opportunities and threats follow along the same lines. The opportunities consist of emerging markets and new products allowing for consumers to purchase products even in poorer regions of the world. As for new products, Panasonic’s abundance of wealth along with their large workforce allows for this company to innovate the next big thing. On the other hand, their threats consist of heavy competition and a volatile market.
Panasonic will need to keep up with innovation or they will be forgotten. Technology changes every week, if not every day. Panasonic will need to continue to produce relevant products to stay competitive. As a recommendation Panasonic should funnel more money into research and development of new and innovative products. Panasonic can invest in products that are less expensive to the consumers to expand their market. Expanding the market will increase revenue. Developing new and innovative products will help increase customer loyalty. This could put them ahead of the competition by selling more products.