Quarterly YouGov study says manufacturer needs to reconsider its marketing strategy in order to win back consumers and compete with market leaders Samsung and Apple
HTC’s consideration and expectation levels amongst smartphone owners have fallen significantly in the past year, according to a new study from YouGov.
Its ‘Smartphone, Mobile Internet eXperience’ (SMIX) tracker states that HTC’s consideration levels fell to 30 per cent in June, a drop from 42 per cent in June 2011.
In the same period, expectation levels for the company also fell, from 16 per cent to nine per cent.
YouGov said that HTC, which was once a key brand and a serious threat to Apple, needs to differentiate between handsets, and market accordingly.
It added that HTC’s Desire and Wildfire ranges won consumers over and brought the brand to the smartphone market. However, since then, it has launched a plethora of handsets within the same range (Sensation, Sensation XE and Sensation XL), which many consumers struggle to differentiate between.
YouGov said this has been a strategy that undermined it position and hampered the brand and now HTC has also decided to follow the same tactic with its new ‘One’ range (pictured).
It argued that Samsung has had an impressive year with innovative products and ranges within its Galaxy portfolio, which have proved popular among consumers. It said Samsung is now the Android future choice of destination with high loyalty, consideration and expectation rates increasing year-on-year.
Consequently, YouGov said Samsung has been able to take advantage of HTC’s losses, taking its mantle in the market and monopolising on its custom, tempting HTC customers to its brand.
It added that whilst HTC retain 34 per cent of its loyal customers, the majority (66 per cent) of its customers will not get a HTC handset again but will churn elsewhere, with Samsung being the smartphone of choice.
Russell Feldman, associate director in YouGov’s telecoms and technology team said: “The latest SMIX findings are not surprising; HTC has long been falling out of the rat race. Our research also found a small number of HTC owners considered their make and model of HTC before purchasing it – significantly lower consideration rates compared to rival brands – a worrying sign.”
“The brand needs to act, and fast, in order to prove their worth in the fast paced industry that is the smartphone market. Marketing and advertising, as well as branding need re-evaluating in order to re-tempt churners and win new custom – which is currently going to Samsung.”
The quarterly SMIX study took place from June 1-6 with a total sample size of 3,985 nationally representative British adults and 1,936 targeted smartphone owners.
Each interview was conducted online and tracks consumer perception on handset and mobile operator usage, attitude and satisfaction; renewal; churn; operating systems and applications.