Earlier yesterday, our Alex Wagner reported that HTC's new Chief Marketing Officer Benjamin Ho has revealed to the Wall Street Journal that HTC is ready to get loud about their brilliance and ditch the tag line Quietly Brilliant. He says "We have a lot of innovations but we haven't been loud enough."
Ho went on to say that HTC is planning to step up its advertising efforts by growing its digital marketing budget 250 percent over 2012, along with 100 percent growth in its marketing budget. But considering Samsung spends more on marketing than Apple, Coca Cola, Dell, HP, and Microsoft combined, HTC really has their work cut out for them if they want to sell more than one One.
Samsung's dominance in the Android spectrum, Apple's ominous drought of magic a la Steve Jobs, and the resurgence of new manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE, are all reasons HTC needs success. It is for these reasons that HTC has such a large task at hand when ditching the "Quietly Brilliant" motto.
The motto is the agreement between consumer and product. It is the advice and promise given to every investor. It can bear criticism and praise, each with fitting composure, and serves as the company image in the market.
A motto is much more than feux words labelled as a company's belief. The motto is a description of what actions it takes in the face of stiff competition. It is a reaction to success. It's the mission statement without the excess syntax. A good motto can save on advertising. It identifies a brand and collects buying tendencies. It is the company's focus, competitive advantages, and business model, in simple packaging. The motto is equivalent to the eye contact you give your employer, the assuring handshake after a meeting, and the actions catalyzed.
It would be unfair to say HTC is resting on its laurels. They've maintained quiet brilliance for the term of their existence. They've exercised it as a marketing ploy, and in their defense, it worked for a period of time.
It's hard to believe HTC once sold 80% of all Windows Mobile devices. The company is a pioneer of multiple facets in the foray of smartphones today. Since 2001, HTC has been responsible for many re-branded devices, carrier-branded, and white-label operator branded phones.
The HTC I first met was rather forthcoming and abrupt. In an effort to shunt the device's awesomeness in my face, I was immediately caught off guard not by the way it looked, but by the subtlety that is HTC. HTC, or High Tech Computer, is that company Google chose to manufacture its first major smartphone: the Google Nexus One. HTC is also the manufacturer of the first Android device, the T-Mobile G1, and one of the most popular Windows Mobile devices, the HTC HD2. They were firsts of their kind. And both were anything but quiet.
At the time, HTC's motto fit nicely among Apple's motto "Think Different". Their approach was subtle, their devices effective and unique.
But prior to the Taiwanese company's quiet brilliance, they were something completely different. Their slogan was "HTC Innovation" up until 2009.
Right at the peak of their success, HTC scrapped HTC Innovation in favor of Quietly Brilliant to rave reviews. The company filed a USPTO trademark for the tag line and pitted their success in the mobile arena on the fact that they literally were low on marketing and publicity grabs, but able to successfully convince consumers they truly made brilliant products. Oh, how the times have changed.
2013 is a different ball game. For starters, you can tell that HTC is trying it out in social media. HTC's Twitter hashtag #TheNextBigFlop was their idea of a counterattack to Samsung's Galaxy S 4 #TheNextBigThing trend. It's a vociferous mockery to say the least, and I hope it's just the beginning of a full on attack against the Korean giant. I feel a company's reaction to criticism distinguishes it much more than its success.
As a new follower of the mobile industry, you'd have difficulty distinguishing the HTC One as inferior to Samsung's Galaxy S 4. But the truth is, the Taiwanese company High Tech Computer Corporation is at a disadvantage because of the mind share Samsung has attained. It is for this reason alone that HTC, the pioneer in modern Android and Windows Mobile/Phone devices is on the charge with their hero device, the One.
HTC is playing this one close to the chest. In short, they're revamping their image as an alternative to other Android devices by increasing their advertising and marketing budgets under new CMO Benjamin Ho. And I'm a believer in the HTC One.
What do you think HTC's new motto should be?