By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: Panasonic is currently on the road, conducting trade shows across the country to promote its new air conditioner range. Current.com.au caught up with category marketing manager – home environment group, Marc Amelung, to find out what’s happening.
Yesterday was a good day to talk air conditioning, with Sydney recording its hottest July day in almost 20 years. The mercury touched 25° Celsius, with the Harbour city bathed in sunlight.
“It was lovely weather for it, quite balmy really, and there were lots of people: we had almost 100 per cent turn up, which was really good,” said Amelung. “We gave them a presentation on the new model, had something to eat, something to drink, it was quite good.”
Attendees at the show included both floorstaff and proprietors. Amelung reported that the retailers were happy with the range, especially the new features, which include Mild Dry Cooling and the Control Sensor.
One of the key responsibilities of a seasonal category product manager is to keep abreast of meteorological conditions: essentially, they need to be able to predict the weather in order to best serve their customers. Amelung said that Sydney’s beautiful winter’s day was a portent for the coming months.
“I do check the forecasts…It’s going to get hot, this is Australia, there’s no doubt it’s going to get hot somewhere, it’s just a matter of when and for how long I guess: two years ago we really didn’t have a hot summer at all, but that’s an unusual event,” he said.
Unlike the United States, Australia has not always had an air conditioning culture. Amelung believes, however, that is gradually changing, with more consumers unwilling to suffer in silence or make do with only fans.
“Household comfort is becoming more affordable, people are becoming more used to it, they certainly see their neighbours and friends having air conditioners, they see the benefit of it, so I think we’re heading that way,” he said.
Panasonic has already completed its Sydney and Newcastle shows. Over the next month, the tradeshow will tour the country.