Huawei Invests Heavily in Improving Image

by Matt Klassen on April 24, 2014

Huawei will spend big dollars on convincing you it’s not a communist front, as the company has announced a significant $300 million investment in improving its brand image around the world this year. The official reasoning behind this marketing push is to establish a presence in the mid to high level smartphone sector, a market that could offer significant opportunities for company’s not named Samsung or Apple.

Of course one doesn’t have to look far to find the real need for the Chinese telecommunications giant to spend so heavily on improving its image, as the company is still trying to pick of the pieces from the public relations nightmare instigated by the American government, who had labelled Huawei as a “national security threat,” an announcement that has since sparked an ongoing industrial Cold War between Washington and Beijing.

But will investing $300 million into rebuilding the Huawei brand really do anything to improve the company’s standing in the global smartphone market? While marketing investment is always a good way to keep a company front of mind for consumers, the reality is that any markets who might think negatively about Huawei (America and Australia for example) will likely be untouched by this campaign, meaning the Chinese firm may in fact be preaching to the choir.

Huawei currently stands as the world’s third largest mobile manufacturer, a titan in the telecommunications industry, and an established presence around the globe…and that’s with almost no presence in the so-called Western world. While the firm has found itself at the centre of unending controversy of late–both with the allegations that Huawei offers the Chinese government backdoors into its products and the revelation that the NSA has been using Huawei’s products in exactly that sort of way—it continues to insist that the company’s growth will not be inhibited by concerns over its product security.

While the company avoided any mention of the US and made it clear the hacking scandal would not hurt business, it still stands to reason that announcing a significant increase in marketing spending has something to do with damage control, a campaign likely aimed squarely at markets Huawei currently has as a presence in but where consumers may be leery about the recent events.

Knowing nothing yet about the content of the campaign, I wouldn’t be surprised if it focused on two key aspects: high end features and security. With marketing the rule of thumb seems to be, if you’re looking to convince the masses of one thing, occupy their attention with something completely different. So if Huawei wants to convince everyone it’s not an extension of the Chinese government, flash high end phones with great features across the screen and see just how fast everyone forgets what they were concerned about in the first place.

Now of course such diversion tactics don’t work with everyone, which is why the company will likely tout its security acumen as well, showing itself as a titan of privacy protection. But with Huawei propaganda flying at us from every angle lets not forget that the truth about this company likely lies somewhere in the middle, which means they’re probably no better or worse than anyone else.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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