Effectiveness of branding strategy is one of the most important critical success factors in business regardless of industry or geographical location of the company. Donelly (2009) stresses the importance of intangible elements of brands that include social meanings, symbolism, and a type of culture associated with the brand.
Boone and Kurtz (2013) confirm this viewpoint and relate the benefits derived from intangible elements of brand to high levels of customer loyalty. Moreover, business scholars convincingly argue that “a brand represents the full ‘personality’ of the company and is the interface between a company and its audience” (Davis, 2009, p.12). HTC has been founded in 1997, and has shorter history and heritage compared to its major competitors. Nevertheless, HTC marketing management has been able to link the brand image with an effective harmony between the price and quality.
This marketing message is integrated into the official slogan of the brand ‘quietly brilliant’ that can be interpreted in a way that although HTC does not engage in expensive marketing campaigns, its smartphones can compete with the products of other brands in equal terms.
HTC operational cost advantage achieved through economising on marketing and a set of other business processes are passed to consumers to sustain its main competitive advantage of cost effectiveness.
Changes in global smartphone market share
Source: DrameXchange (2014, online)
As it is illustrated in Figure above HTC market share in the global marketplace has decreased by 0.4 per cent, from 4.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 to 4.3 per cent of the same quarter of 2013.
Generally, the global market of smartphones has grown by 37 per cent during 2012, and the extent of market penetration in smartphone industry within top 19 markets has been assessed at 35.5 per cent and this number is expected to increase to reach 71.7 per cent by 2015 (Annual Report, 2012).
However, with the major players in the market keen to launch subsequent series of their smartphones within short intervals, the product life cycle in this industry has diminished significantly, and this fact further increases the importance of design and innovation, and research and development programs of HTC.
Direct and major competitors of HTC Desire 600 in the global marketplace can be specified as Apple iPhone 5C and Samsung Galaxy 2. Table below contains comparisons of main features between these smartphones.
|HTC Desire 600||Apple iPhone 5c||Samsung Galaxy Grand 2|
|Design||Operating system||Android (4.1) HTC BlinkFeed UI||iOS (7.x)||Android (4.3) TouchWiz UI|
|Dimensions||134.8 x 67 x 9.26 mm||124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97 mm||146.8 x 75.3 x 8.9 mm|
|Side Keys||Right: Volume control||Left: Volume control, Lock/Unlock key||N/a|
|Display||Physical size||4.5 inches||4 inches||5.2 inches|
|Pixel Density||245 ppi||326 ppi||280 ppi|
|Features||Light sensor, Proximity sensor||Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Oleophobic coating||Light sensor, Proximity sensor|
|Camera||Camera||8 megapixels||8 megapixels||8 megapixels|
|Camera features||BSI, Auto focus||BSI, Auto focus, Touch to focus, Face recognition||Auto focus, Geo tagging|
|Front-faced camera||1.6 megapixels||1.2 megapixels||1.9 megapixels|
|GBP 270||GBP 439 (16GB)||GBP 560 (16GB)|
Comparisons of main features between HTC Desire 600 and its main competitors
Main competitive advantages of HTC brand in general, and HTC Desire 600 relates to its effective balance of functionality and price. In other words, while HTC Desire 600 integrates major functions and capabilities expected from a modern smartphone and offered by competitors, this specific product has less price tag than the competition.
Annual Report (2012) HTC
Boone, L.E. & Kurtz, D.L. (2013) “Contemporary Marketing” Cengage Learning
Donelly, R. (2009) “CIM Course book: Customer Value through Marketing” Routledge