BlackBerry – Brand Strategy

Presented By -Shankit Agarwal Roll Number -2011176

The first BlackBerry device. Web browsing and other wireless information services. was introduced in 1999 as a two-way pager in Munich. with the most popular being the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger service.2 GHzMSM8255 Snapdragon processor. which supports push email. The consumer BlackBerry Internet Service is available in 91 countries worldwide on over 500 mobile service operators using various mobile technologies. 768 MB system memory. Germany. The original BlackBerry devices. while older BlackBerry 950 and 957 handhelds used Intel 80386 processors. 2|Page . the 850. The latest BlackBerry models called "Torch" (Torch 9850/9860. The name BlackBerry was coined by the marketing company Lexicon Branding.INTRODUCTION TO THE BRAND BlackBerry is a line of smartphone devices developed and designed by Research In Motion (RIM). cameras and much more. At present the Caribbean and Latin America. BlackBerry devices support a large variety of instant messaging features. Internet faxing. which are designed to function as personal digital assistants. Modern GSM-based BlackBerry handhelds incorporate an ARM 7. The first BlackBerry smartphone was released in 1999. gaming devices. Torch 9810. making its manufacturer RIM the sixth most popular device maker (25% of mobile device sales are smartphones). They are primarily known for their ability to send and receive (push) email and instant messages while maintaining a high level of security through on-device message encryption. It is an example of a convergent device. internet browsers. and Bold 9900/9930) have a 1.The latest BlackBerry 7 devices were announced in the Fall of 2010. the more commonly known smartphone BlackBerry was released. BlackBerry accounts for 3% of mobile device sales worldwide in 2011. portable media players. In 2003. BlackBerry devices are smartphones. used the DataTac network. and 8 GB of onboard storage. text messaging. All BlackBerry smartphones after OS 5 support up to 32 GB microSD cards. have the highest penetrations of BlackBerry smartphones worldwide – with up to about 45 per cent in the region having a RIM device. mobile telephone. there were seventy million subscribers worldwide to BlackBerry. 9 or ARM 11 processor. As of October 2011. the RIM 850 and 857.

similar to a two-way radio. 3|Page . the Apple iPhone and Windows Phone. This was seen by some as akin to a "celebrity endorsement." which marketing experts have estimated to be worth between $25 and $50 million. BlackBerry has struggled to compete against Android and Apple and its market share has plunged in recent years. becoming the first President of the United States to use mobile email. became known for his dependence on a BlackBerry device for communication during his 2008 presidential campaign. but all current models have color displays. Despite the security issues. such as the Palm Treo. Competition The primary competitors of the BlackBerry are smartphones running Android. The original BlackBerry device had a monochrome display. The track wheel was replaced by the trackball with the introduction of the Pearl series which allowed for 4 way scrolling. the use of only the thumbs to type. system navigation was achieved with the use of a scroll wheel mounted on the right side of phones prior to the 8700. However. except for the Storm series and the all-touch Torch 9850/9860 had a built-in QWERTY keyboard. optimized for "thumbing". Models made to use iDEN networks such as Nexteland Mike also incorporate a pushto-talk (PTT) feature. Barack Obama. through its BlackBerry Connect software. All models. The Storm 1 and Storm 2 include a Sure Type keypad for typing. RIM currently offers BlackBerry email service to non-BlackBerry devices. leading to speculation that it will be unable to survive as an independent business. The advanced encryption capabilities of the BlackBerry Smartphone make it eligible for use by government agencies and state forces alike. he insisted on using it even after inauguration. Originally. The trackball was replaced by the optical track pad what people now use as thumb pad with the introduction of the Curve 8500 series.BlackBerry first made headway in the marketplace by concentrating on email. it has managed to maintain significant positions in some markets. President Barack Obama's use The President of the United States.

Starting from the early pagers to the phones they have on offer today. PRICE The price of Blackberry products is comparatively lesser volatile than that of the competition. the brand does demand a premium for its product. Now. PROMOTION The brand has always been an underdog when it comes to advertising. The company has a good web presence and the “word of mouth” publicity is good. there is still a lot of gap as far as the rural sectors are concerned.e the youth. PLACE Blackberry has clearly more presence in the urban market. they have always been providing a unique value proposition to their consumers. The consumers do get the “value for money” put in by them and the pricing. Also.4P ANALYSIS PRODUCT Blackberry has always had a large range of products to offer. there have been print ads in the relevant media to target the right segment. they have also resorted to TVCs. the brand is continually gaining ground in the lesser explored regions. As of now. according to me is popular. However. Also. Blackberry has unique products which stand out in the market and deliver superior performance. with an entry into a new segment i. 4|Page .

RIM initially launched its products in the market keeping in mind that they would be aiming to capture the business segment and their promotional campaign was designed on the same lines.BRANDING STRATEGY The branding strategy of blackberry had always been to target the business executives. All the ad campaigns were also aligned to this goal of the organisation. An example is as under – 5|Page . The brand used to stand as the perfect business phone and laid the very base for the launch of the business segment phones by other companies.

A very smart move to deal with the declining and competitive business segment was to start positioning the brand towards the youth as well. Instant Messaging (BBM). Dependability. Easy connectivity to the internet. the company has totally revamped its branding strategy.Thus. They understood that the brand needed to extend its purview and catch the consumers early. it is clearly seen that the initial consumer segment that the brand wanted to target was the business population. 6|Page . All the campaigns and resources of the companies were also used in a manner to achieve this segment’s attention. On the go Business. So. they have come up with new features and ad campaigns where it is clearly shown that the users of these phones are not restricted to business class but now are dominated by the younger generation. Recently. The major features that attracted the desired segment are –      Ease of use.

RIM has. A key element for RIM’s success in building the Blackberry brand was being able to respond quickly to opportunities The key to the BlackBerry Brand is it does what it promises.Understanding the limitations in one segment i. The basic cornerstones of the brand strategy of blackberry are as under 1. and let the carriers do the marketing. Blackberry’s world-wide success in the smart-phone category may seem like a premier example of brand planning but it is really a story about Blackberry’s ability to shift when necessary to meet the market’s changing needs. The message to sales managers was: What does it say about your organization if you don’t have one? What image does it give you? The marketing strategy was based on a status appeal. A way to stay connected to work at all times. The brand became a symbol of the user. Emotion selling was the key. AT&T. Emotional selling should not be overlooked. Carriers had the budgets. 2. They sold the devices through the larger carriers. Blackberry put the brand almost entirely in the carriers’ hands for 5-6 years. so Blackberry leveraged that. Blackberry was also careful to play the channel card well. at the right moment made the necessary changes in the following parameters to attract a younger crowd –     Enhanced Music Features. Blackberry became a status symbol. Verizon. Ad Campaigns (BB Boys.e only the business segment. A confirmation for Type A’s that their lifestyle works. Leverage the Channel. BlackBerry wasn’t afraid to let the customers own the brand. 7|Page . TMobile. Join the conversation) Instant Messaging to stay connected (not only for business) On the go accessibility and email. That is important to remember in B2B. Emotional Selling Matters. That became the essence of the brand.

and then become aware of the brand’s heart and soul as the brand gains credibility. and Latin American the message was about efficient use of time. However. That campaign merged into one about Life Success.3. is some European countries. Work and Life balance. the message that was similar to the US message about gaining status by having a Blackberry worked well. Blackberry sent the message that it was selling success. Blackberry marketed its features. 4. The message became about taking control of time. Unify the Message Blackberry invested in the channel to provide sales training. Blackberry again learned and adapted to its market. In Asia. Shifting Brand Strategy Blackberry’s shifting brand strategy reflected the change that happens in many technology and device companies who start off selling features. the status image didn’t resonate. Sell the Brand The shift in thinking from “What does Blackberry do?” to “What does Blackberry do for me” was a powerful introspection on the Brand for the Blackberry team. In the UK. They realized it was essential to teach retailers how to sell the product and carry out the brand message. In the beginning. Global Strategy Shifted Again As the device went global. By featuring TV celebrities in ads talking about what their Blackberries meant to them. 8|Page . 6. 5. The value promise of BlackBerry became that it’s a tool to let you live your life. Then the message shifted to become about Business Success.

Promotion in colleges and institutes. It is constantly on a growing trend now with the acquisition of a completely new and large segment.CONCLUSION The company understood that to survive in the market. RECOMMENDATIONS A few suggestions to the company are as under –      Not to forget the original consumer segment. Innovative Products. one small segment would not be enough and thus made the changes in the offering and the positioning so as to attract a completely new segment of the consumers. Blackberry is one of the few companies that have successfully managed to bring about such a change in the brand positioning. Now. Easy to reach help lines. Stronger consumer service. It’s never late to change or expand the brand strategy! 9|Page . The mindset that it was basically a phone for office going old people has changed drastically changed and the fear the company would phase out has been removed. we can see that the phones are well catering to the needs of the business executives as well as the students and the younger generation.

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