Having posted unprecedented losses for a fiscal year (FY2001) for the first time since our foundation, Panasonic Corporation sought to turn things around immediately in order to restore society's trust in the company with a Groupwide reorganization effective as of January 1, 2003. Working toward new growth, the new structure of the Group consisted of 14 independent business domains.
Since the company was founded, autonomous and responsible management was always practiced as based on the customer-first principle. However, as our operations evolved and expanded, the organization took on new layers, greater complexity, and a scattering of technologies. This also compromised the clarity of our structure vis-á-vis customers and business areas.
This business realignment was instituted with the goal of providing solutions for these problems and realizing corporate management that made paramount the perspective of the customer. Toward this end, overlapping redundancies between companies of the Group were eliminated, development-focused management resources investment were centralized, and all functions of development, manufacturing, and sales were integrated and unified. With this as the new platform, the objective was to thoroughly accelerate growth strategies and autonomous and responsible management for each business domain.
Prior to the launch of the new structure, on October 1, 2002, we acquired full ownership of five companies of the Group: Matsushita Communication Industrial, Kyushu Matsushita Electric, Matsushita Seiko, Matsushita-Kotobuki Electronics, and Matsushita Graphic Communication Systems.
In the field of devices we acquired full ownership of Matsushita Electronic Components and Matsushita Battery Industrial on April 1, 2003. In the field of appliances as well, Home Appliance & Housing Electronics Company and Air Conditioners Company were dissolved and Matsushita Home Appliance Company was established.
In aiming for enhanced global marketing competency and brand value, in May 2003 it was decided that the global brand would be unified as “Panasonic” and the global brand slogan would be “Panasonic ideas for life.”
As the development of digital technologies and market competition intensify, branding has become a critical factor that determines a company's ability to grow. In order to implement marketing activities intended to make the Panasonic Group the global No. 1 in each area of business, the centralizing of marketing resources and implementation of effective communication activities became urgent tasks.
In line with this, “Panasonic” was positioned as the name for global branding in all areas overseas for the purpose of enhancing brand value. Since its debut as the brand name of loud speakers for export in 1955, “Panasonic” had garnered a sense of reliability and assurance accumulated in Europe and North America to the extent that the very name evoked images such as “advanced” and “cutting edge.”
This move was accompanied by changing the name of products marketed regionally in Southeast Asia, China, and the Middle East under the “National” brand name to “Panasonic,” beginning with new products in the latter half of FY2003. In addition, outdoor signs were also similarly changed during 2003.
At the same time, in Japan, appliance products of the company commanded high customer recognition and trust under the “National” brand name. And because it was an original brand in existence since the founding of the company, it was decided to keep the National name in tandem with “Panasonic.”
Unification of the global brand was accompanied by the establishment of the global brand slogan “Panasonic ideas for life.” “ideas for life” was infused with the message “through development, manufacturing, sales, and services, employees of the Group worldwide continue to provide valuable innovative thinking to advance society and enrich life for one and all.”