HTC marshals forces for major One (M8) push

HTC marshals forces for major One (M8) push

HTC has boosted its UK team by 30% as it prepares to claw back UK market share following the launch of its flagship device the HTC One (M8).

The manufacturer, which has its biggest budget ever for the launch of the One (M8) has also strengthened its operator, retailer and distribution partner relationships and overhauled its field marketing team in a bid to gain greater exposure for its flagship device.

The strategy seeks to prevent the HTC One (M8) delivering similar lacklustre results to the HTC One last year, which, despite being acknowledged as one of the best smartphones of 2013, saw disappointing sales in the face of competition from rivals Apple and Samsung.

Speaking to Mobile at the HTC One (M8) launch, UK VP Peter Frølund said: ‘We hope what we have shown you today delivers on that promise, but we also need to be better in the way we communicate with the market.’

Frølund said HTC had boosted its UK team by 30%, largely in its sales and marketing division to help drive sales. It is currently on the hunt for a key account manager and recently recruited Camilla Markham as head of marketing communications and sponsorship.

Frølund said the HTC One (M8) was backed by the largest marketing budget ever and pointed to marketing strategies such as the manufacturers’ Sky Sports sponsorships and stand out deals with operators, such as O2’s £100 House of Fraser gift card offer on all purchases of the HTC One (M8), as examples of how HTC is ramping up its exposure.

He added that the device would also gain far greater exposure in retail stores than the HTC One. ‘In a nutshell, when you walk into any retail store you are going to see more HTC products and that will continue to increase as a direct result of us growing our market share,’ he said.

HTC has also restructured its field marketing team to support the launch of the HTC One (M8), said Frølund, adding: ‘We have reorganised it to better address the different needs of different stores. So we are taking a more targeted approach.’

HTC’s recent distribution deal with Brightstar 20:20 marks a change in HTC’s partner strategy, Frølund said. ‘Our ambition in 2014 is to grow our market share by working more closely with our operators, retailers and the distribution side of the business,’ he explained, adding: ‘Brightstar 20:20 has relations with a lot of players in the UK market and it is important for us to get full coverage.’

Frølund declined to confirm or deny reports that HTC is to terminate its distribution contract with Tech Data Mobile, following its deal with Brightstar 20:20.

‘We have added Brightstar 20:20 and if there are going to be any more changes that is not something I want to talk about today,’ he said.


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