Regardless of what you think of HTC’s more recent ad campaigns featuring Gary Oldman and Robert Downey, Jr. they still haven’t managed to obtain the kind of recognition or mind share that Samsung enjoys. No surprise then that HTC would look for aid from the same mind that helped Samsung into their current position, former Samsung Chief Marketing Officer Paul Golden.
According to Mr. Golden’s LinkedIn page, during his time at Samsung he “created and launched the…Galaxy brand.” While the hardware can’t be dismissed, it is also clear that Samsung’s success over the last few years is in no small part attributable to their branding and advertising.
HTC with the One and now the One (M8) have the hardware part of the equation solved. But according to their own chairman, Cher Wang, they “…never think marketing is that important — this is really not very good.” She also recognizes that “it’s really not only the budget increase, it’s the way how you spend the money. Is it smart?”
Mr. Golden is presumably there to help make sure the answer to that question is yes. For the time being, he is on a three-month consulting contract reporting directly to Wang. Whether this will turn into a long-term role is unknown, and HTC has only commented that the company will “continue to invest in talent and recruitment as part of our broader human resources strategy.”
In an interview just prior to the US launch of the Galaxy SII, Mr. Golden had this to say about shaping the Samsung mobile brand in the US: “Not only are we giving you a device, but this device is going to change your life and is going to become a part of your life that you can’t do without.”
Only time will tell whether Mr. Golden can help HTC harness that same attitude and sell consumers on its truth.