HTC is in a tough spot financially. The company confirmed that it will report its first ever loss this quarter. Over the past two years, it's being estimated that they have lost 90% of their market value. According to HTC's Chairman, Cher Wang, the biggest challenge in the coming months is the company's marketing, not its unstable financial position.
Bloomberg News posted an interview with Wang yesterday in which the Chairman stated that the company's "biggest challenge is these [next] two months." At first glance, she appears to be referring to the company reporting its first quarterly loss, given HTCs announcement last week. The company was quick to clarify what Wang was talking about, coming out with this statement:
In a Bloomberg TV interview today, Cher Wang, the chairman of HTC, was not referring to the company facing financial challenges this quarter. Instead, she was referring to living up to the challenge of innovative marketing in Q4 of 2013. She puts direct communications with consumer at the center of its overall business strategy.
The best product and cutting-edge technology are still the most valuable assets to the company. Our biggest need in the forthcoming quarters will be embarking on alternative marketing thinking. HTC is in a time of change, taking necessary innovative steps on marketing to create a resurgence of the HTC brand.
The statement seems aimed at rattled investors, and it may be a move to attempt to settle them down. Wang's statement during the Bloomberg News interview was actually referring to the company's marketing and customer communications, not their financial situation. The question that she was asked was about the most challenging aspects of the next 24 to 36 months for the company. Her response was that the next two months would the most challenging, in terms of marketing and communicating with customers. "Our communication does have a problem but we are improving on that," Wang said. "It's a gap between our new products coming out and we are improving our innovation and our marketing." Cher Wang could be simply downplaying the company's financial woes, but HTC's CEO Peter Chou made similar comments about their marketing strategy earlier this year, when the HTC One launched.
HTC has tried to improve their marketing, which Wang referred to as "alternative marketing thinking." The hiring of Robert Downey Jr. as the company's new ad spokesman is the biggest place we can see this. Wang told Bloomberg News that "people like him [Downey Jr.] because people see him as a change maker." Whether hiring Hollywood celebrities and making odd commercials will work is yet to be seen.