Pensonic steps up branding exercise, expansion plans

Pensonic Holdings Bhd has embarked on expansion plans and a branding exercise, which include branching out into China, and launching a six-month local campaign that uses celebrity star power to help sell products. 

Group managing director Dixon Chew said following the setting up of the Shenzhen office, the company hoped to market products in southern China, via a few hypermarkets and chain stores. He declined to give forecasts or targets for China, but said with the brand's 10-year presence in Hong Kong, Pensonic was confident of being able to tackle the Chinese market. 

For branding activities, Pensonic launched its new logo in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, along with its “Pensonic With Friends” campaign that features 12 celebrities associated with 12 different products. 

Dixon chew

“The company will spend RM7mil on advertising, promotions and brand-building for this financial year ending March 2006, and this is a 50% increase from last year’s allocation,” Chew said. 

Pensonic is also currently in talks with a few international brands, with a view to represent them in Malaysia.  

“We also aim to learn their market strategy, product development and design to upgrade our own knowledge of development capability. There may be a possibility for us to go into product design and OEM (original equipment manufacturer),” Chew said. 

Through partnership with new brands, Pensonic will look into new products like built-in kitchens and home appliances, consumer electronics like MP3 players and mobile phones, while exploring the possibility of venturing into the manufacture of these items. 

Pensonic’s group unaudited turnover for the year ended March 2005 increased to RM177mil, from the previous year’s audited turnover of RM151.9mil. Domestic sales rose 17.3% to RM153.9mil, and export sales increased 11.6% to RM23.1mil. The company attributed its improved performance to focused branding activities and increased marketing efforts. 

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, who officiated the logo and campaign launch, said Malaysian companies should promote their brands locally and overseas on their own, instead of depending on the Government. 

The Government’s Brand Promotion Grant (BPG) scheme, which gives matching grants to Malaysian companies to help build their brands, has given RM39.2mil to 21 firms from the electrical and electronics, processed food, footwear, jewellery, pharmaceuticals, building materials, information and communications technology and food sectors to date. 

So far, 20% of BPG’s RM200mil fund has been taken up, but the Government has not decided to expand the fund size. Husni expects the money will last “for a few years,” but emphasised that “companies must not depend fully on the Government. The initial amount we give in our grants is to spur branding only.” 

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