Chinese electronics giant TCL Corp aims to become one of the top three best-selling TV brands in the United States by 2020, mainly by strengthening its partnerships.
The TCL name - which stands for "the creative life" - has a history of more than 35 years in China. But, it remains relatively new to consumers in North America, where it launched just five years ago.
Eyeing the high-end market, the company introduced its new 6-Series for 2018, based on 2017's P6-Series, as a high-performance package in partnership with Dolby and Roku.
With improved picture quality and a sleek new cosmetic design, the 6-Series is a TV that "really shows off the performance that we are capable of", said Chris Larson, senior vice-president of TCL North America. The latest model is expected to solidify TCL's leading position in North America and the global consumer electronics industry, he said.
The new series features screen technology developed by Dolby Laboratories, and includes an app with trailers and shorts for more than 240 movie titles.
As US viewing habits transitioned from video delivery to streaming directly from a TV set, TCL partnered with Roku four years ago to develop the first Roku digital media TVs for North America.
"One of our secrets to success is we don't always focus on what we do in house," said Larson. "We find the right partners and the right technology, whether we invent it or somebody else does, to bring it to consumers, and one of those great partners has been Roku."
All TCL TVs feature Roku's smart TV platform, which offers more than 5,000 streaming channels, providing access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes.
"We see very different content behavior between baby boomers and millennials," Larson said. "Consumers are moving from the traditional cable or satellite to 'what you want, when you want it', particularly young people."
"Our TCL Roku TVs are amazingly popular among consumers," he said, adding that based on TCL's 2017 performance, their goal of achieving a top-three TV brand position in the US market within this decade is well on track.
The Huizhou, Guangdong province-based company sold more than 23 million TVs worldwide in 2017, ranking it the third-largest TV manufacturer in the world behind Samsung and LG.
While global TV set sales decreased 3.6 percent from 2016 to 2017, TCL recorded unit sales growth of over 16 percent during the same period, according to the company.
"We are very happy with the scale we've taken the business to. We continue to invest in the brand through sponsorships," Larson said.
TCL recently signed National Basketball Association superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brazilian soccer legend Neymar and professional surfer Tia Blanco as brand ambassadors for a digital marketing campaign.
The company has extended its sponsorship as the official TV of The Ellen DeGeneres Show for a fifth consecutive season. The partnership includes audience giveaways and individual promotions.
Another strategy the company is employing is to grow its screen size, which is most important to people buying their main television, said Larson.
Last year, TCL broke ground on its latest panel production factory in Shenzhen. When it opens in early 2019, this plant will produce high-performance 4K TV panels of 65 and 75 inches, according to TCL.
"For the sake of the company, we have to get big very quickly," Larson said.