HTC beefs up marketing team for major brand push

Mobile phone manufacturer HTC is beefing up its European marketing department in preparation for a major push that aims to broaden the brand’s appeal to “everyday” consumers.

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The company has appointed a new vice-president of marketing and retail, Stefan Streit, and expanded the role of UK executive director Jon French to look after sales and operations for EMEA. It has also hired a new UK marketing director.

The new head of UK marketing has yet to be named but will be tasked with linking above-the-line campaigns with experiential activity.

From this month, campaigns for the company’s first tablet, the HTC Flyer, will be aimed at consumers who do not already own HTC products.

French says the Flyer’s launch “will fail” if it only attracts early technology adopters, so marketing will be positioned to appeal to everyone, “from the 5-year-old watching a Disney movie to the e-mailing businessman”.

The Taiwanese device manufacturer claims brand awareness has increased from 6% when it launched two years ago, to over 50% globally.

French adds: “I want HTC to be an opinion former and the type of brand that everyday people have a real understanding of. We will only be successful if by this time next year the mention of ’HTC’ sparks conversations from everyday people.”

HTC is planning experiential initiatives, including in-store product demos and a roadshow that will visit UK city shopping centres.

French says: “We are confident that when people use our products they will form an attachment to them but we are now making sure that people pick up those products in the first place.”

Although HTC does not release UK-specific figures, its global first-quarter revenues increased to 104.2bn Taiwan dollars (£2.2bn), up 93% year on year. Profit was up 197% to 14.83bn Taiwan dollars (£315m).

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