HTC statement, November 2012: “[New CMO Benjamin] Ho's first assignment will be to lead a project, dubbed internally as Marketing 2.0, refocusing HTC's efforts around holistic marketing and mass-market brand outreach.”
HTC statement, October 2013: “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.”
We get that things aren't going all that well in HTC-land, but are we alone in thinking it keeps rolling out the same tired excuses for its shortcomings?
The latest exercise in “blame the marketing” comes from HTC chairman Cher Wang, who rolled out the tired refrain to try and play down her earlier comments that after losses of $100m in the latest quarter, the next two months would be the company's “biggest challenge”.
She was talking, you see, about the challenges of embracing a new marketing strategy, and not about the company's very survival. Or that's the story.
The problem is that must be at least the fourth different HTC exec who's said pretty much exactly the same thing (with minor variations) over a period spanning more than 12 months.
Surely that in itself is a pretty major weakness? After all, if it's the truth, it means either you can't sort out your problems.
And if it's not, it means you can't even be bothered to remember you've already used the exact same excuse before. Several times.
It's like phoning in and saying you can't come into work because a terminally ill grandparent is on their deathbed, and forgetting you called in three months ago supposedly right before their funeral the last time you went AWOL.
What does seem certain, reading between the very wavy lines surrounding HTC right now, is that despite public claims of the exact opposite, there's a lot of disagreement on just what has gone wrong, and just how to fix it.
HTC has been making plenty of noise recently, yet is anything appreciably different now compared to two years ago? Well, apart from Robert Downey Jr, that is?
Downey Jr even got a mention in the original Bloomberg interview that caused all the fuss, with Wang saying “people like him because people see him as a change maker”.
All things considered, maybe they should just put him in charge of the whole company and be done with it.