Sunday, October 5, 2008

Matsushita renames itself as Panasonic

Imagine a father choosing to rename himself after his successful son. Doesn't happen in real life. But in the marketing world, it's a common practice. Matsushita is the latest to be bitten by the renaming bug. Panasonic means Everything Sound. But some of the products of Panasonic have no connection with audio, like say ovens, irons, vacuum cleaners, digital cameras, washing machines, electric cookers and massage loungers. So does the name change make sense? If you take a literal view of things, no it doesn't. But luckily for Panasonic, it's a coined word. Not many know its meaning. And that helps. Videocon enjoyed the same advantage. The name has a strong video cue. Still the company uses the same brand name to plug washing machines and what not. For all those who pooh-pooh coined names, these are cases in point. A coined name lets you straddle categories. An instantly decodable name like Mobile Store limits you to mobiles.