Why Your TV’s Brand Is Sometimes Misleading

For many of you, there’s a good feeling in choosing a familiar brand. But before you consider buying a new TV it’s worth divulging an open industry secret: even if a TV carries a brand name you recognise, that model might have a very remote relationship – legally and geographically — to the company that built the brand and its reputation over many years.

Your TV brand

Branding makes all the difference. A professional appearance and carefully strategised branding will help the company build trust with consumers and potential ones. Relatedly, it is also vital for increasing value when trying to generate future revenue, and a strongly established brand can increase a business’ value – think of the simple black cotton T-shirt: one in a supermarket for £5, the other with the same or similar materials for £55, their difference largely because of a logo. Logos confer status and a lifestyle upon their users. The logo is one of the most important aspects of branding – important for those seeking an appealing investment opportunity because of its nicely warmed seat in the marketplace.

As you get to know the business better, you will start trusting it more. In the beginning, in order to develop trust, brands need to be ‘on message’ with the reasons why they should be tried out. Here, building a brand helps determine how the first few customers will perceive the quality of a particular brand of televisions.

OEM is short for original equipment manufacturer and describes what we’ve read above: when a manufacturer who puts together computers made of other company’s parts and then sells the product under its brand name.

TV manufacturers

Manufacturers making TV sets for different brands is not really new: until the 1970s a large factory in Bradford produced identical models with different brand names for rival high street rental shops. While the production lines have moved to China, the Balkans, and Asia Minor, outsourcing to an OEM doesn’t mean either brand is necessarily less good than it was, but it does speak to the nature of brand names today: commodities that can be sold and passed on when market conditions – lower wages and production costs — are favourable.

One such player, founded in 1969, is the very large Chinese TV manufacturer Hisense which was responsible for making Sharp TVs until Foxconn, another Chinese manufacturer, reclaimed the rights to the Sharp brand in 2019. In 2020, Hisense also makes Toshiba, but brands change OEM hands all the time. Hisense also owns trademarks under which it manufactures and sells its products to Hitachi, Lucent, Matsushita, NEC, Sanyo, and Qualcomm. The company has launched its own brand in the US too.



Trademarks and manufactures under


Hitachi, Lucent, Matsushita, NEC, Sanyo, Toshiba and Qualcomm.


Sharp, some Sony, and others

TP Vision


Shenzhen MTC (Chinese and Korean TV sales)

Vestel (European TV sales)





Akai, Alba, Blaupunkt, Bush, Goodmans, Sharp, Technika and Tevio




TCL is their nearest competitor to Hisense and one of the fastest-growing TV manufacturers, however, they are not yet an OEM for any other companies. There are many others including Guangdong Dajunmei Mobile Interconnection Technology co., Ltd. (short for “Dajunmei”) who have established relatively recently (2011).

SAMSUNG TV share of the market

With a market share of over twenty per cent, Samsung has been the world’s largest TV manufacturer since 2006. LG is the second-largest TV manufacturer in the world, accounting for about twelve per cent of the market. Sony is one of the leading TV manufacturing companies in the world and makes up close to seven per cent of the market. Samsung, Sony and LG among them retain control of their own production lines. Could they know something about quality control and brand loyalty that their OEM competitors do not?

A few premium names such as Bang & Olufsen also produce all their own sets, but they tend to price themselves out of the mass market, with the cheapest starting at a few thousand pounds.


The ‘opposite’ of OEM is ODM (Original Design Manufacturer). This type of manufacturing is often sometimes called private labelling. With ODM manufacturers of an existing product are contacted, often through a site like Alibaba, and are requested to have the product branded a company trademark and company information. Sometimes, the company can request modifications. Many suppliers are only prepared to make small modifications like product size, colour, and packaging though. Here are some of the advantages of advantages and disadvantages to both OEM and ODM manufacturing:



OEM Manufacturing

ODM Manufacturing


  • Exclusive right to sell the product(s)
  • Almost total customisation is available.
  • Little to nothing for product development costs
  • Relatively lower minimum order quantity requirements.


  • Costly development costs.
  • Large minimum order quantity requirements.
  • No exclusive rights over the product
  • Fewer opportunities for customise.