HTC has revealed that it will finally drop the frankly stupid “Quietly Brilliant” tagline it has been using for the past few years, the WSJ reports, with company marketing chief Benjamin Ho saying they “haven’t been loud enough” with marketing to date. The first fruits of that change in strategy are already apparent, with HTC handing out snacks at the Galaxy S4 launch event in NYC, and the use of the hashtag #theNextBigFlop to directly take down the S4 on Twitter.
Ho also explained in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that supply shortage, specifically involving camera components (which are unique to the HTC One and use a new “Ultrapixel” layered sensor technology), is what’s behind the continued delay in launching the HTC One in the U.S. That’s acting as a choke point preventing the speedy ramp up of production, Ho told the WSJ.
While HTC is being more vocal in terms of both being aggressive with the competition and its products, and with informing the public about the real reason behind its slow global rollout of the flagship HTC One device, it has a lot of ground to make up. Q4 sales were down 41 percent year over year, and recently, HTC CEO Peter Chou said recently he’ll resign if the One fails to succeed with consumers.
The Taiwanese company will also be dumping funds into marketing, meaning that this change from the “Quiet” company of old isn’t just about optics. Ho said in the WSJ interview that it will be increasing its digital marketing spend by 250 percent this year compared with last, and that print and traditional media ads will get a 100 percent budget bump in 2013.
It’s unclear how much of that budget will be dedicated to smack talk, but HTC is already actively banging that drum. In addition to the Twitter campaign mentioned above, there’s also recent comments made by HTC North America President Mike Woodward, who told Business Insider that his company was “pleased to see no innovation in the design itself” with the S4, noting that he thought “Samsung is trying to overwhelm us with money and marketing.” In the interview he noted that while HTC couldn’t match the Samsung marketing giant in terms of available cash, it will amp up its efforts.
HTC doesn’t need to spend a lot of money, but it does need to stop pretending that making good hardware and then sitting back and being mostly quiet about it is the way to compete in the smartphone game. Luckily, it looks like the company has finally realized that too. Now it just needs to ship.