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A New Look For One of the World’s Great Brands – CES 2017

Panasonic USA invited me to spend a little time with them at CES 2017. What I didn’t know was that they were going to re-introduce me to a company that has not only evolved, but been reborn in the age of Digital Transformation.

Back in 2004 I sold a lot of Panasonic product, mostly projectors and flat panel televisions (Plasmas) for applications in healthcare and education. However, my knowledge of Panasonic goes back much further than that. It goes back to my childhood where I had Panasonic appliances all over my house. I had Panasonic Boom Boxes, Microwaves, Tube Televisions and when I got a little older and went through my “DJ” phase, I had a pair of Technics (Panasonic) 1200 MK2 turntables. These were the only turntables that the DJ community recognized!

However, in the past decade there has been a rise of new companies across Asia that have entered into the LCD and Consumer Electronic spaces. Many offering lower cost, lower quality electronics than their Japanese counterparts, but as electronics have become almost disposable, people don’t mind buying a flat panel knowing they will need to replace it just a year later.  As these new companies have emerged, it has led companies to move into other areas where they can continue to focus on developing world-class solutions that are on the front edge of what is possible with Technology.

At CES 2017, I had the chance to be re-introduced to Panasonic, a company as rich in history as any in the consumer electronics space. However, as someone who spends much of his time writing about trends in the enterprise, digital transformation and the future of work, I’m not really looking at the consumer electronic space. When I do look at consumer electronics, it is usually to determine if these solutions have viability in the enterprise space.  So when Panasonic invited me behind the curtain to participate as one of their CES 2017 influencers, I wondered what they would have to offer the areas that I spend my time focused on. Let me be the first to say, I was surprised at every turn and with the time I spent at Panasonic during CES, I have a completely new perspective as to who Panasonic is today!

With over 95% of their business now being done as B2B and B2G, I wanted to share a couple of the areas that I was really impressed by that Panasonic is focusing on in 2017 and beyond.

Smart Cities: From high speed IoT cameras to smart grid technology, Panasonic is working closely with cities and municipalities to deliver some of the most cutting edge smart city solutions available today.

Augmented Reality: How can we create more memorable experiences for retailers and events? What if we take blended reality and use projection mapping and glass overlays to immerse people with online and offline experiences at the same time?

Autonomous Vehicles: While they aren’t building these vehicles, Panasonic is adding technology to smart cars and autonomous vehicles that allow for future transit experiences to be more immersive. When we aren’t driving the cars, what will we be doing? Check out what Panasonic envisions. Autonomous Vehicles- Automotive category

Sure, I still think back to the days of confidently moving Panasonic products for AV solutions in schools and hospitals. The world today is much different, and sometimes it is easy to lose track of how companies have evolved and adapted to a very different technological time. Panasonic has reinvented itself and has done so strategically and perhaps more quietly than they should have. One thing is for sure, it only took about 8 hours of getting under the proverbial hood of Panasonics B2B and B2G offerings to realize that they are well positioned to stay a relevant part of the conversation on the technology and workplace of the future!

“This post was brought to you in part by Panasonic USA. Thoughts are my own.”

Photo Credit: gadgetitalia Flickr via Compfight cc

Daniel Newman

After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change how business is done. I'm an MBA, adjunct business professor and 5x author of best-selling business books including "The Millennial CEO" and "The New Rules of Customer Engagement." Pianist, soccer fan, husband and father, not in that order. Oh and for work...I'm the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group and President of V3 Broadsuite, a family of marketing and media agencies that help companies be found, seen and heard in a cluttered digital world. I also give keynote speeches around the world on the topics such as digital transformation, technology and marketing.