HTC takes a step forward in smartphone war with HTC One

HTC unveils its latest offering to combat competition in the smartphone category, as well as expand consumer base with a focus on youth

e4m by Priyanka Mehra
Updated: May 29, 2013 8:12 PM
HTC takes a step forward in smartphone war with HTC One

As the smartphone war intensifies, with global and local brands competing to bring out a new product every quarter, Taiwan-based brand HTC is not left watching from the sidelines either.

The brand that has become significantly more aggressive in the last two years, unveiled its flagship smartphone, the new HTC One in Mumbai.

“Our focus is value for money and enhancing consumer experience. HTC One is our flagship device. We believe it is the best device on the table till now even from HTC as well as across the platform and is already getting a lot of rave reviews in the market. We aim to give consumers a new perspective of smartphones with this device. This campaign is targeted at the age group of 18 – 24 years – an audience we cannot live without and the strongest influencers in the market place today,” commented Manu Seth, Director Marketing, HTC India.

HTC’s latest offering competes with RIM’s Blackberry Z10, Nokia Lumia 920, Sony Xperia and Samsung Galaxy S III. The brand has tied up with Reliance Communication to strengthen its offering. Reliance GSM subscribers can  avail 1GB of 3G data free for three months along with free sharing of unlimited text, music, pictures and videos through WhatsApp and Facebook for three months.

Brand communication play
Social networking, staying connected with the world, and entertainment are the three parameters on which the brand has crafted its communication strategy.

The brand has introduced a new tagline for this campaign ‘What will you bring to life?’ after its last year’s campaign of ‘Recommended by’. This year’s campaign is a step towards personalisation.

The brand’s media mix consists of 50 per cent ATL and 50 per cent BTL activities. The focus is on experiential marketing with investment in retail, live demos and 1500 plus promoters in the market. The brand’s clear objective is to intercept consumers walking into the store.

“People today immerse themselves in a constant stream of updates, news and information. Although smartphones are one of the main ways we stay in touch with the people and information we care about, conventional designs have failed to keep pace with how people are actually using them. A new, exciting approach to the smartphone is needed and with the new HTC One, we have re-imagined the mobile experience from the ground up to reflect this new reality,” said Faisal Siddiqui, Country Head, HTC India.

The Indian smartphones market is estimated to be growing 75- 80 per cent year-on-year, and is touted to be the third largest market in the world by 2016.

This growth can be attributed to the affordability of smartphones, accessibility to the masses, and the incidence of 3G services.

The brand also has an aggressive push on the digital medium, particularly on social media with over a three-million fan benchmark. HTC India is number one social page for the brand globally. The brand will continue to create dialogue and conversation regarding its latest launch, interacting with the youth for their views on its latest offering.

Interestingly, HTC’s current consumer base is skewed towards 80 per cent male ownership, while 20 per cent is female ownership.

“Our focus will now be on product innovation and enhancing consumer experience; our brand tonality is changing to get more interactive. What has also worked in our favour is that we have not spread ourselves lean and thin but approached the market in a staggered manner by going with the top eight metros first, then top ten cities, followed by the next ten,” added Seth.

The brand believes its product has been its forte and the push on experiential marketing has paid off, along with localised campaigns, celebrity seeding and influencer programmes to establish a loyal database, which it aims to expand with a focus on youth.
With the continued growth of the smartphone market, it remains to be seen if HTC’s latest offering will be able to combat aggressive competition.

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