Panasonic’s UK trade expo, held yesterday at the Heathrow Marriott hotel, London, saw the brand in bullish form. “We’ve had a cracking 2005,” declared Panasonic’s Group Marketing Manager Andrew Denham.
“We had three main objectives for last year: to be an even stronger number one in plasma TV, to be a stronger number one in DVD recorders and to significantly grow our Lumix camera presence in the UK market. In June 2005 we hit a company milestone; we broke through to be the total brand share holder in the UK and we’ve held onto it ever since. That’s because of our early investment in flat panel and particularly plasma. We have well over 30% market share in plasma, with our nearest rival at 10%.
“Our strategy for flat panel TV is to use plasma for anything over 37 inches and LCD for anything smaller. And that looks like the right thing to do. Even in the LCD environment, when we look at anything above 26 inches, we’ve broke through to be the number one there too.” The company has also enjoyed considerable success in the digital camera market. “Thanks to our Super zoom category, we’re number one, with 24% of the market,” says Denham.
“We’re really pleased with that. Another milestone for us was in the Japanese market, perhaps the most competitive market in the world, where our FX series now has an 18% share.” Panasonic has also been aggressive in DVD recorders, and this year will move virtually it’s entire line-up over to Freeview-tuner models.
“We launched DTT models through lst Summer and that helped us keep our market share up, 12% ahead of Sony and 25% ahead of Philips.” Moving on to 2006, what’s the key focus for Panasonic? Well no prizes for guessing Viera and Lumix figure highly. Says Denham: “When it comes to Veira screens, the focus will be on HD, so we’re increasing our line-up of HD screens and we’re looking at how we can commercialise our 103 inch plasma panel. With that kind of product, you really need new distribution channels. “The other area for us is the refinement of design, which is why this year we have refined rather than revolutionised the look of the screen products.”