News Releases

4/19/2000

Making Hitachi The Brand Of Choice

Apr 19, 2000 09:53 AM

-- New brand management is implemented to improve corporate value --

TOKYO, Japan, April 19, 2000 -- Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) today announced that the company, which marks its 90th anniversary this year, is introducing a new brand management program designed to increase the value of the Hitachi brand and make it the customers' brand of choice.

This will provide impetus to the promotion of a structure that continues to create corporate value, and will thereby make it possible to provide products, systems and services that go a long way toward helping to attain the goals of the "i.e. HITACHI" medium-term consolidated business plan announced last November.

With corporate management becoming increasingly globalized and operating in a climate shaped by the evolution toward a knowledge-based society, enterprises find themselves having to utilize their competitive edge and maximize their corporate value in order to achieve corporate progress and development on a major scale. A company's vision is symbolized by its brands, which are becoming an increasingly important management resource for winning out in an age of megacompetition.

The aim of introducing the new brand management program is to use the shared employee understanding of the concept embodied by the Hitachi corporate brand to implement corporate activities on a consistent basis and build brand value. This will increase corporate value, by acquiring customers who feel a bond with the Hitachi brand, thereby giving Hitachi a superior market position and a high-profit structure. The promise of value inherent in the Hitachi brand will also form the core of a shared sense of a common identity and vision among employees that will generate pride and a sense of togetherness.

In promoting the new brand management program, Hitachi's aim is to create change and speed up business model innovation, to make Hitachi the brand of choice.

To implement the brand management program, a brand platform has been formulated that clearly defines the value promised by the Hitachi brand, and the implementation of corporate activities that enhance brand value and the promotion of corporate change and reforms have been made a management policy. This has been incorporated into a new corporate statement, "Inspire the Next," which will be vigorously publicized inside and outside the company. It will also be disseminated as a specific marketing strategy within the business divisions and Hitachi Group companies, starting with the building of strategic brands in the net and digital media businesses.

Employees will be encouraged to actively participate in ways of increasing brand value. To this end, educational programs will be implemented at the company's business facilities and related companies as a way of deepening employees' understanding of brand value. Various other means will also be utilized for this purpose, such as concept books and videotaped messages from the president of Hitachi.

On April 1, a Brand Management Group was established within the Corporate Communications section to plan and promote these brand management policies.

Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world's leading global electronics companies, with fiscal 1998 (ended March 31, 1999) consolidated sales of 7,977 billion yen ($65.9 billion*). The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial equipment. For more information on Hitachi, Ltd., please visit Hitachi's Web site at http://www.hitachi.co.jp.

*At an exchange rate of 121 yen to the dollar.

Overview of brand management program

1) Brand platform
The brand platform defines the value that the Hitachi brand promises and provides. It is the authority on the values that all employees should share.

As such, it imparts a consistent direction to Hitachi brand-based business operations, and to corporate activities such as the provision of products, systems and services.

2) The "Inspire the Next" corporate statement The corporate statement is a way of concisely expressing the promise of the Hitachi brand as defined by the brand platform.

Hitachi

Inspire the Next

"Inspire the Next" signifies that Hitachi will continue to inspire and invigorate the next era to help enrich people's lives and make the world a better place.

Looking to the next era, it expresses Hitachi's commitment to inspire lives and communities by providing new products, systems and services that are quick to meet the needs of the times.

This corporate statement, together with the Hitachi logo, will be used with internal and external communications to convey the promise of the Hitachi brand.

3) Brand development in strategic businesses
Strategic brands will be created and promoted. By July, new category brands will be created in the net business and rapidly disseminated. In the digital media business, too, the development of new category brands linked to strategic product lineups is being studied.

4) Coordination among Hitachi Group companies To strengthen the dissemination of the Hitachi brand and increase the overall corporate value of the Hitachi Group, brand management will be implemented that encompasses the companies of the Group.

5) Hitachi brand education programs
To ensure that the promise of the Hitachi brand is shared by all employees and reflected in their work, new educational programs will be systematically implemented.

6) Hitachi brand management program
This is for imparting uniformity to corporate communications. The program will be implemented by a brand strategy committee that ensures coordination with management strategies, and a Hitachi graphic identification standards committee concerned with product/advertising activity aspects.

The committees will apply uniform control based on identity manuals that cover all aspects of brand management, including selection of corporate colors.

Evaluations of brand images and values will be made more comprehensive.

7) Integrated advertising campaigns New advertising campaigns will be implemented that focus on the value that the Hitachi brand promises and delivers.

8) Promotional organization On April 1, a Brand Management Group was established within the Corporate Communications section to plan and promote brand management policies.

*The Brand Management Group will work with the business planning department of each of Hitachi's business groups and Hitachi Group companies to ensure that coordinated management of the Hitachi brand is maintained.

For Media/Investor Inquiries, please contact:

Gerard F. Corbett
Hitachi America, Ltd.
Vice President
Corp. Communications Group
Tel:(650) 244-7900
Fax: (650) 244-7920
gerard.corbett@hal.hitachi.com

Takeshi Okamoto
Hitachi, Ltd.
Tel: 03-3258-2054
okamoto@cm.head.hitachi.co.jp

Hiroaki Ohi
Hitachi, Ltd.
Tel: 03-3258-2056
hiroaki@cm.head.hitachi.co.jp

For all other inquiries please call:
1-800-HITACHI

If you have any questions specifically about Investor Relations in the United States, please contact our Investor Relations Department at investor.info@hal.hitachi.com