Matsushita Electric adopted the brand name 'National' in Japan in 1927 at the initiative of the founder Konosuke Matsushita. The 'National' brand name became a very popular household name in Japan and was also increasingly used in overseas markets. The Panasonic brand was first introduced in 1961 in the U.S. where the 'National' brand name had been registered by others and therefore, could not be used. Building on the successful brand recognition of Panasonic in the U.S., the company started using the Panasonic brand name in Europe in 1979 and in other regions in the late 80's for products other than home appliances for which 'National' brand name continued to be used.
Under the new global brand strategy, the brand name for all home appliance products in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and China will be changed to 'Panasonic' from 'National' by the end of March 2004. The 'National' brand will, however, continue to be used in Japan where the brand was originally born.