Beginning in the latter half of the 1980s, hair dryer development shifted from “how to dry hair quickly” to “how to eliminate damage and promote healthy hair.” At that time, Panasonic’s product planning, development, and marketing departments were mostly led by male employees and technical experts. But with greater emphasis on female empowerment within the company, women gradually began to voice their ideas and opinions with confidence—a change that had a notable impact on product development and marketing.
One day, a Panasonic employee was inspired to apply her “ion facial steamer” to her hair for treatment and the results led to a project to develop a hair dryer using negative ions. Through trial and error and a number of design revisions, the company finally released the first hair dryer with negative ion capability in 2001.
Following the success of negative ion dryers, the company developed a next-generation series, known as “nanocare™,” that featured nanoe™ charged water particles with deodorizing and purifying characteristics. With women influencing the marketing strategy for the nanocare series, Panasonic was able to raise awareness in Japan and gain a share of the Chinese market.