Philips and Matsushita have been locked in a fierce battle for market share in the consumer electronics industry for decades. The two companies are now facing off again in a new round of competition, as they vie for dominance in the connected home market.
Philips has been a pioneer in Marketing technology and has invested heavily in research and development to create innovative products that appeal to consumers. The company’s products are well-designed and user-friendly, making them easy to use and appealing to a wide range of customers.
Matsushita, on the other hand, has focused on creating affordable products that offer value for money. The company’s products are often seen as being of lower quality than Philips’, but Matsushita has been able to gain a significant share of the market by offering competitive prices.
The two companies are now locked in a battle for supremacy in the connected home market. Philips is betting on its Marketing technology and user-friendly products to win over customers, while Matsushita is counting on its competitive pricing to attract buyers. Whichever company can successfully navigate this new landscape will come out on top in the next round of the Philips vs. Matsushita rivalry.
In 1892, Philips started out in Eindhoven with its first product: a light bulb. By focusing on only this one product at the beginning, Philips was able to specialize and create significant innovations. The company’s rapid growth allowed it to become a leader in industrial research which broadened its product line. In the post-war era, Philips found success by adapting to country-specific market conditions. This strategy helped them expand their reach to other countries and generate increased sales volume.
In the 1960s, Philips was already an international enterprise with production and sales all around the world. The company had grown so large that it faced difficulties in terms of organizational control and decision making. As a result, Philips centralized their business model inorder to regain control. In 1973, Matsushita entered the European market by establishing a subsidiary in Germany. Prior to this move, Matsushita had been successful in Japan and the United States; however, they were relatively unknown in Europe.
The company followed a similar philosophy as Philips by decentralizing its operations in order to gain a better understanding of the local markets. This enabled Matsushita to quickly adapt their products to the specific needs of each country. Unlike Philips, Matsushita did not have a long history in Europe and was therefore not as well known. In order to increase their brand awareness, Matsushita invested heavily in advertising.
In the 1980s, both Philips and Matsushita faced problems due to the global recession. In order to reduce costs, both companies downsized their workforces and restructured their operations. Philips also sold off some of its businesses that were not performing well. Despite these measures, Philips continued to struggle financially and reported losses in 1992. In contrast, Matsushita emerged from the recession relatively unscathed and even posted profits during this time period.
The 1990s were a difficult decade for both companies as they faced increased competition from Korean and Taiwanese manufacturers. In order to stay competitive, both companies invested heavily in research and development. Philips also embarked on a cost-cutting program that helped to improve its financial performance.
The new century started off poorly for Philips as the company announced several rounds of layoffs. In contrast, Matsushita posted strong profits in the early 2000s. However, both companies were affected by the global economic crisis in 2008 and 2009. As a result of the crisis, both companies announced further layoffs and restructuring programs. Despite these challenges, both companies are still leaders in their respective industries. Philips is the largest lighting manufacturer in the world and Matsushita is one of the leading producers of electronic goods.
Matsushita’s main strengths during the 1970s and 1980s lay in high-quality, low-cost standardized products. In addition, they were able to rapidly innovate both their products and processes. Because of this, their company turned its focus to exporting sales to world markets.
Forty percent of appliance stores in Japan were represented by Matsushita–a direct result of their broad line of 5,000 products which gave them access to market trends and consumer reaction through 25,000 domestic retail outlets. This increase volume of understanding resulted in increased sales numbers for the company overall..
Marketing efforts were also boosted by co-branding with other manufacturers to improve product quality. For example, in order to improve the image of its National brand, Matsushita partnered with Toyota and vise versa.
On the other hand, Philips had a different focus as the company was more concentrated on customer intimacy and technological leadership rather than scale and scope economies. Marketing mix decisions were taken quite differently as well–product developments were based on market feedback while advertising focused on attracting customers’ attention towards product features.
The company’s main aim was to be known for its innovative products; therefore, it targeted early adopters in its marketing campaigns. However, this strategy put Philips at a disadvantage in terms of costs since they had to spend more on R&D and advertising as compared to Matsushita.
The two companies’ contrasting strategies can be seen in their different approaches to product development and marketing. Philips relied on customer feedback to guide its product development, while Matsushita focused on developing products that it believed would be popular in the market. As a result, Philips often brought new products to market before Matsushita, but Matsushita’s products were usually more successful when they did launch.
Philips also took a more individualized approach to marketing, targeting specific groups of consumers with specific marketing messages. In contrast, Matsushita mass-marketed its products, using a one-size-fits-all approach. This helped Matsushita save on advertising and marketing costs, but it also meant that Matsushita’s products were less differentiated from its competitors.
Because Matsushita had a centralized organization, which caused them to be slow in market responsiveness, they should shift towards a more decentralized organization. With the globalization of the market, Matsushita needs to improve its ability to sustain its competitive advantage in low-cost production. To achieve this goal, they need better communication and coordination between subsidiaries and headquarters.
One way to do this is by formulating global product strategies. In the late 1980s, Matsushita was the clear leader in the worldwide consumer electronics industry. It had a 29 percent share of the market, while Philips was in second place with 18 percent. In spite of this, Matsushita was not content to rest on its laurels and worked hard to maintain its competitive advantage.
The company continually invested in new technology and improved its manufacturing processes so that it could produce products more cheaply than its rivals. It also adopted a very aggressive marketing strategy, using famous sports stars and celebrities to endorse its products. As a result of these efforts, Matsushita’s share of the global market rose to 35 percent by 1995, while Philips’ share fell to 14 percent.
In the early 1990s, Philips began a major program of reform, known as Vision 2010. The aim of this program was to make Philips a more agile and customer-focused organization. As part of this program, Philips sold off many of its non-core businesses and reduced the number of product categories that it competed in. It also decentralized its organization so that decision-making could be closer to the markets. These changes enabled Philips to regain some lost ground and by 2000 its market share had risen to 17 percent.