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January 14, 2008

Embracing English Naming Trend, Panasonic Drops Matsushita’s from Brand Name

Panasonic-Logo-2.gifThe news that Panasonic is dropping “Matsushita” from its brand naming has been applauded across the blogosphere. As Thomas Ricker at Engadget points out, it might be hard to lose the founder’s name, but the “dual-naming scheme hurt both brands and created confusion in the global marketplace.” Lee Distad, however, notes that Panasonic’s well regarded Technics brand name is still going strong.

An article in The Daily Yomiuri Online takes a good look at the naming strategy that Panasonic is embracing, and the belief that a single, congruent brand name is the means through which Panasonic will re-energize its brand and initiate a “second phase in the company’s history.”

Pentax-Logo-2.gifMore than that, there is a definite trend towards English-sounding names and abbreviations happening in Japanese company naming. Two notable examples are:

  • until 2002 Pentax was officially Asahi Kogaku Kogyo

  • until 1983 popular tape brand TDK was officially Tokyo Denki Kagaku Kogyo.

This move towards English sounding names will only accelerate since the Justice Minister, in 2002, ruled that Japanese companies can use Roman characters in their name.

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Posted by William Lozito at January 14, 2008 10:29 AM
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