By JURO OSAWA in Hong Kong and RYAN KNUTSON in New York
Updated on Nov. 28, 2016
A brand is the meaning behind your company's name, logo, symbols, and slogans. Having a unique and memorable brand helps you build brand awareness, create a long-term position in the marketplace, and gain consumer loyalty. Brand awareness shows how well a company is doing with its target markets. In Huawei Technologies Co.’s case, lack of brand awareness in the U.S. has created a large obstacle for the “Chinese technology giant” to be successful in the marketplace. It’s easier for companies to sell brands that consumers already know.
U.S. carriers are also reluctant to work with Huawei due to thoughts of security concerns that the Chinese might use their networking equipment to spy on Americans. Huawei representatives responded by stating that the company “operates independently of Beijing.”
Huawei plans to launch its high-end Mate 9 smartphone in the U.S. through online retailers such as Amazon. The phone currently costs €699 ($759) in Europe, but the company has not yet disclosed how much it will cost in the U.S. or when it will be released.
The U.S. seems to be essential to Huawei’s smartphone global expansion strategy, but there are both technical and relationship challenges in this process.
“It takes time to build trust in the U.S.,” Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s smartphone business who has set that ambitious goal, said in an interview this month.
Technical and cost challenges arise when trying to comply with cellular standard used by Verizon Communications Inc. and Sprint Corp. For example, “Huawei would have to make substantial and costly changes to its mobile chips.”