Panasonic to Block rivals with new AC range and aggressive marketing

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Panasonic Australia yesterday launched is summer 2011 range of air conditioners, with the new line-up focused on energy efficiency and a broad operating range for Australia’s unique temperature extremes.

In addition to showcasing its new products, Panasonic also officially announced its new partnership with the return series of Channel Nine’s The Block TV program. Panasonic air conditioning and consumer electronics products will be featured throughout this new series, which is expected to start airing nationally in mid-September.

Paul Reid, who oversees all marketing activity for Panasonic’s consumer range, spoke first at the press conference, saying that the Japanese supplier had a 58-year history in air conditioning manufacturing, building a strong reputation in this period for performance in wide-ranging climates. He said that Panasonic Australia has identified Air Conditioning as one of its three key growth areas, along with Viera TVs and Lumix cameras, and will be supporting its new range with an expansive above the line marketing campaign.

Next to speak was Mathew Harrison, the group marketing managing for air conditioning. He introduced the 11 new products, which range in RRP from $999 up to $3,119. Harrison said consumers were making two key errors when purchasing air conditioning products: leaving the purchase too late and not buying the right model for their needs.

To overcome these two challenges, Panasonic is promoting the purchase of an air conditioner in the first months of spring, with consumers therefore getting the most out of their purchase when the heat of summer proper sets in later in the calendar year. Secondly, Panasonic is assisting consumers in choosing the right model through direct communication over the internet.

Harrison said he had just returned from a national road show, in which he trained over 1,500 sales staff in 35 different shows across all eight States and Territories. The focus of this training was to help sales staff guide consumers to the right air conditioner for their needs. For example, the air conditioner requirements for a standard master bedroom are distinctly different to those for a large lounge room. Choosing the right model and getting it installed properly means consumers are satisfied and there are less returns, according to Harrison.

The standout feature of this new range is the Eco Patrol Sensor. This sensor detects movement in the room, adjusting the power of the air conditioner to match the goings-on. Panasonic claims this improves power consumption and can cut energy consumption by up to 10 per cent, whilst not interfering with the comfort levels of the occupants of the room.


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