HTC targets SA with new campaign

2012-05-17 19:04
Cape Town - Mobile phone manufacturer HTC Corporation is targeting South Africa as it launches a new range of devices to gain a foothold into the smartphone market.

"Now we feel we're at a stage where we need to take more personal responsibility for the growth of our brand within the African market overall," Jon French, HTC vice president of sales and operations for the EMEA region told News24.

HTC has established an office and team in SA so that the firm which introduced Android smartphones in 2008 can change consumer perceptions of the brand.

"They [team members] have to make sure that HTC is front and centre not only in our customers' minds, but in consumers' minds as well. They have to duplicate the same kind of brand growth that we've had in other parts of the world," French said.

He conceded that some consumers were unaware of the HTC brand message, but said that the company was determined to improve brand recognition.

Premium brand

"Right now, It would be fair to say that maybe you don't see HTC in the same way you see it in the US, the UK, Germany, or even certain parts of Asia, but that's only because we haven't concentrated our brand awareness activity, which we certainly want to do now.

"We have a great success story in all of our major markets; it's just time that we replicate the same success in South Africa."

Several manufactures on the Android platform have recently launched smartphones, employing the strategy of a premium brand. Samsung launched the update to it Galaxy range; Sony Mobile has also updated its Xperia devices.

HTC launched the One Series as its premium product range and the brand has already received some international recognition.

"The One Series will be the premium product range but first and foremost: HTC quietly brilliant - that's what we need to get across. We're the only Chinese brand that got into the Interbrand Top 100. It was a weird number: We came 98th, but for a brand that's only 4 years old, we were really pleased with that," said French.

He hinted that the company was not only focused on selling the device, but would like to create a loyal following, similar to Apple fans who line-up around the world when the US company launches a new product.

"We have to create an awareness - a kind of emotional response of what HTC stands for."

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