Out to Lunch: HTC Shane Chiang
There is something about Duxton Hill; the cobbled streets once you get up the inclined pathway and the trees that surround it gets you relaxed almost immediately.
The Jackson Plan restaurant, a British gastrobar, is where my lunch with Shane Chiang was at. The 90-seat eatery is named after Lieutenant Philip Jackson, the often overlooked engineer who first divided Singapore’s colony into its four main districts of Chinatown, Chulia (now Little India), Kampong Glam and the Eurasian quarter in 1822. As we ordered, Chiang, the senior marketing manager for social marketing for HTC APAC had a story to tell as to how HTC used social marketing to give consumers what they wanted.
“On our HTC Facebook page, there was a lot of conversation with regards to a certain key feature, the bootloader that we were planning to lock down on. However, our customers were opposed to this idea and voiced their strong opinions about it on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social sites. As a company we listened and top management made a decision.”
Chiang quotes HTC’s CEO Peter Chou on what he wrote on the Facebook page: “There has been overwhelming customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones. I want you to know that we’ve listened. Today, I’m confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices. Thanks for your passion, support and patience.”
This comment gathered 8,450 “Likes” and 2,428 comments from HTC’s fans.
Chiang says the blogosphere and social sphere exploded with people happy with the revolutionary feature, adding that it felt good working for a company which listens people.
“The consumer space is changing and they (consumers) are dictating what they want rather than what the marketing guy says the consumer needs,” says Chiang, sipping his soup and eating his salad.
“The marketing landscape is changing and evolving. We are hearing what our customer wants and as a company we are looking to make products for them. We need to participate in the social space and in the conversations that are happening online.
“We spend a lot of time and work hard in making products we hope, in a quietly brilliant way, will delight our customers.
“We are building a humble culture and we just want to do the right things and whatever people might say on Facebook, Twitter or on the social sites, we respect them.
“Our attitude is to meet the customers’ needs and build phones the customer wants.”
Our food arrives and I was curious to know what new phones were in the market. He could barely contain himself over the new ChaCha – the company’s latest people-centric messaging phone with its dedicated Facebook Share Button.
“It comes with a Facebook chat for you to chat with your friends. It has a full QWERTY keyboard that makes texting easy, it has a multi-touch screen and is encased in a curve surface,” Chiang says.
This caught the attention of our photographer and art designer Shahrom, who attends most of these sessions and it got all three of us chatting. Chiang bites into his salad while I tuck into my fisherman’s pie, which was just right for an overcast afternoon in Singapore.
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