Panasonic, having just switched their corporate name from Matsushita, is now setting its eyes on taking Sanyo under its wings. Both electronics brands have a strong brand image in the global market, albeit for slightly different products. This combination, if implemented strategically would place Panasonic on the same pedestal as Hitachi, in terms of size.
Panasonic can offer superior brand management skills to Sanyo. Sanyo has respectable products, and is a respectable brand. However, their product lines are very diverse, and the dozens of other smaller competitors with very focused product lines overshadow Sanyo’s brands. A restructuring, with the help of Panasonic, could help bring Sanyo to the head of the pack.
Panasonic has been taking a strategic approach to acquiring Sanyo. Rather than attempt a hostile takeover, or put in an aggressive bid for the company, Panasonic is working closely with Sanyo’s management to find terms that will complement both brands. A mutually respective approach offers the best opportunity to appease shareholders, which in this situation are the potential roadblock in reaching an agreement between Panasonic and Sanyo.
In the U.S., Panasonic has been growing steadily in brand power, a CoreBrand measurement analytic, for the past several years. At end of year 2007, they were at 54, out of a 100-point scale. Sanyo however has declined in brand power over the last year, losing the upward momentum we have seen in previous years. Sanyo is at 45.5 at end of year 2007. Hitachi, interestingly, has seen a rise in brand power over the last year, after several years of declining, reaching 27.5 at end of year 2007.