Panasonic tightens APAC grip

Regional – Months after it set up its marketing headquarters for the region in Singapore, managing director of Panasonic Consumer Marketing Asia Pacific Hiroyoshi Suga (pictured) tells Marketing why the restructure is vital to help the company conquer these markets outside of Japan.

The company established its regional marketing ops out of Singapore in January this year, operating as a hub for Asia Pacific for marketing, sales and services – the first time the company has moved these operations out of homeland Japan for these decisions.

Prior to setting up these operations, it was difficult for Panasonic to reach the various APAC markets, as most of the business decisions were only coming out of Japan, said Suga, who will oversee the hub.

He said that the move to set up a regional hub is aimed at making the company more nimble, as well as take a more focused approach to its various markets. These markets include Southeast Asia, India and Oceania.

“The goal is to be the top consumer product brand in Asia Pacific by 2015,” Suga said.

It aims to achieve the goal through its four  sub-brands, Econavi(emphasising its eco-friendly initiatives), Smart Viera(to emphasise its technological advancements), Lumix (its mirrorless camera brand) and its beauty product brand, Panasonic Beauty.

At present, it is third in terms of overall consumer brands in the region, but is first in Malaysia, Vietnam and New Zealand.

Its latest division, Panasonic Beauty is aimed at the female Southeast Asian market, and it aims to ramp up marketing efforts for this in the coming months.

The new range of Panasonic Beauty products will be available in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore by October.

An integrated marketing campaign dubbed “Beauty of Empowerment” featuring four brand ambassadors from these markets launched through an event in Thailand last week, also running on TV, print, digital, store-front displays and through public relations. The beauty range includes products such as hairdryers, eyelash curlers and more.

Looking ahead, Panasonic also aims to develop its business in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

As for its agency partnerships, it will develop most of its strategies out of the hub, and appoint partners in each market, for its public relations and media buying duties.

The creative duties are usually handled out of its Japan headquarters.

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