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Panasonic... big plans for Africa and SA

Panasonic, the Japanese electronics manufacturer, has announced its new range of products and its plans to move into Africa...
Panasonic yesterday relaunched its brand in South Africa with the tagline 'You deserve better' and intends using South Africa as a springboard into Africa, with Nigeria and Egypt being the company's initial target areas on the continent after this country.

The company's extensive domestic consumer range extends across TV & Audio, Technics (such as home-cinema stereo amplifiers and audio amplifiers), Digital Imaging (cameras and video cameras), Lens, and Appliances (which includes kitchen appliances - bread-makers, mixers, fridges, and personal items such as shavers and trimmers).

The company sees South Africa as a strategic market and to that end has allocated a marketing budget of $5m (about R60m) to devote marketing the company and its products to the country.

There is a significant price erosion, and fierce competition, particularly on TVs - a flat-screen model that sells today for a significant cost will very likely be available shortly at a much lower price, whereas appliance prices have tended to be more stable.

Hence, while the company continues to manufacture a wide range of TVs and has 32" and 40" flat screens, with a 49" due in the next few months, a large part of its effort is in the other sectors it covers.

Ready to compete

Panasonic has been sold through discounters such as Game and Dion; specialised outlets, such as camera shops; and by chains, and the company previously tended to keep a relatively low profile.

This, however, is set to change. With an extensive range of new products across the domestic consumer and business markets - from TVs to cameras to appliances, and then in the business environment, scanners and security surveillance equipment, for example, the company intends to revitalise its image.

A major thrust will be on emphasising the quality of Panasonic products - hence the tagline 'You deserve better'.

The new product range will be rolled out through 2015 and onwards.



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