Why  The  Blackberry  Storm  Failed  To  Impress  And  Where  Argus  Insights  Can  Help!

At Argus Insights, are rapidly evolving our market intelligence tool-set. We would like to share some interesting analytical results developed as a side effect of our software development and validation. In the following Blackberry Storm case, you will see how these tools can be leveraged across the entire market intelligence workflow.





Launch  0meline  of  the  iPhone  revolu0on  

T-­‐Mobile  G1  (Android)   iPhone   Announced   1st  Gen  iPhone   iPhone  3G   Blackberry  Storm  

When the Blackberry Storm was launched in 2008, it was the first competitive response to the Apple iPhone by the established smartphone players. Just a few weeks earlier Google and T-Mobile had launched the first Android phone with huge fanfare. It would be months before Nokia and Motorola launched their own revised smartphones. There was tremendous pressure to respond with a touchscreen phone but even more pressure to make sure the user experience was on par with the iPhone. Blackberry fans and foes alike followed this launch intently to see if RIM could compete with Apple on innovation and user experience. The initial results were not pleasant. The Storm fizzled, responsible for almost $400 million of lost revenue for RIM. Self  reported  customer  sen0ment  from  online  reviews  
Normalized  sen0ment  on  a  scale  of  -­‐1  to  +1   iPhone   iPhone  3G   Android  G1   Storm  

The  Race  to  Catch  Up  to  the  iPhone  

You can see, by measuring customer sentiment, that the iPhone sets the baseline experience for other smartphones to beat. The 3G started with a yawn until the market got hooked on faster data speeds. The Storm started with promise but rapidly diminished to a small shower. The Android-based G1 experienced a similar drop soon after launch, but still settled higher than the iPhone, providing an early forecast of the recent shift to Android as the smartphone OS market share leader in North America. (With Argus Insights methods and tools, this shift could have been forecasted much earlier, by December 2009.) The questions facing the leadership at RIM following the Storm launched were significant: What is happening with the market (beyond sales)? Why is the market responding the way it is? How can we respond to the perceived failure of the Storm?
Spread  of  posi0ve  and  nega0ve  sen0ment  across  all   responses  analyzed   -­‐20%   -­‐10%   0%   10%   20%  

Storm  fizzles  on  launch,  Android  leaps  ahead  

Oct  2008   Nov  2008  

Jan  2007  

Jun  2007  

Jun  2008  

OS  Speed     Virtual  Keyboard   OS  General   Screen   Industrial  Design   User  Interface   WiFi   Landscape  Rota0on   Learning  Curve   Freezing  OS   Typing  Speed  

When we dig deeper into what the actual users are talking about, we see interesting trends emerge – both what they dislike about the Storm, as well as some surprising sources of delight. The chart at left is a ranked list of the topics that most concern users, along with the complete distribution of positive and negative sentiment. Simply reporting an average masks the span of the impact these attributes have on the user experience. The top issue is the responsiveness of the operating system, clouding every other aspect of the phone. Interestingly, these early users of the Storm are evenly split between loving and hating the virtual keyboard and the overall look and feel of the user interface. The real surprise is how much love is heaped on the new screen and the industrial design. The remaining features rate overwhelmingly negative, reflecting the overall market reaction to the Storm. So how can Argus Insights help RIM decide whether there should be another Storm and how to improve upon their last best effort at innovation?

Market  Core  Sample  Reveals  Why  Storm  Failed  to  Excite  

New  SegmentaIon  Framework   EmphaIc  NO  
While assessing the huge population of reviews for multiple products, a pattern of commentary organized itself around the user rating groups shown in the table to the right. Using this new backdrop, a different type of segment analysis is possible, based solely on sentiment.
Curmudgeons  that  are   unlikely  to  change  their   minds  regarding  your   product  or  service.   Poten&al  Roadmap   Challenges   -­‐1.0  to  -­‐0.5  

No,  AND  
Typically  down  on  the   experience  but  clearly   able  to  see  some  silver   linings  to  the  product.   Customer  Sa&sfac&on   Op&ons   -­‐0.5  to  0  

Yes,  BUT  
These  lead  users  are   fans  but  experience  the   future  sooner  than  the   rest  of  the  market.   Source  of  Future   Delighters   0  to  0.5  

EmphaIc  YES  
True  believers,  these   customers  are  ardent   supporters  of  the   brand  and  product.   Marke&ng  Posi&oning   Points   0.5  to  1  

Revised  A_ribute  Analysis  using  Sen0ment  Segments  
Empha0c   NO   OS  Speed       Virtual  Keyboard       OS  General       Screen     Industrial  Design       User  Interface       WiFi       Landscape  Rota0on       Learning  Curve       Freezing  OS     Typing  Speed     Browser   Email  Client       No,   AND                         Yes,   BUT                         Empha0c   YES                        

Strong  Brand  meets  Poor  ImplementaIon  

By slicing across these segments and fusing the view with the overall distribution of ratings, we see some surprising insights popping out. For example, the haptic virtual keyboard rated very highly among those who were delighted by the phone. In contrast, this same sentiment segment offered lengthy treatises on the learning curve this new way of text entry required, an issue few of the other sentiment segments mentioned at all. We see that items such as the OS Speed, the lack of WiFi, and the problems with landscape rotation were uniformly sources of frustration for all sentiment segments, demanding to be fixed. This helps prioritize which product changes can have the biggest impact on the overall user experience     -­‐1   -­‐0.5   0   0.5   1   for the next generation of Storm handsets. Also see that the new LCD, the industrial design and classic Blackberry email were all consistent sources of delight for users, showing that the main elements of the Blackberry brand are consistent throughout. This highlights the ability of the Argus toolset to assess the alignment between the promise of the brand and the reality of the product. Additionally, the attributes that ring true for the most positive sentiment segment illustrate what are the positioning points with the most integrity. This can be used to shape messaging to bring better alignment between the brand and the experience.

Storm  II  Brings  Much  Desired  Improvements  But  At  A  Cost   The Argus tools allow not only deep Storm  II   product analysis but also comparison Storm  I   across products and services. In the -­‐10.00%   -­‐5.00%   0.00%   5.00%   10.00%   -­‐10.00%   -­‐5.00%   0.00%   5.00%   10.00%   Storm case we used this capability to Virtual  Keyboard   see what improvements were made to OS  Speed   the Storm II. RIM was successful in addressing the major concerns of Screen   Storm I users while maintaining most User  Interface   all of the positive attributes of the Ba_ery  Life   Storm I. We still see high marks across the Screen and design. There Industrial  Design   were also major improvements in the OS  General   views of the virtual keyboard, the OS Freezing  OS   speed and the user interface, all key elements for RIM to compete WiFi   effectively with Apple. Unfortunately Learning  Curve   all of these improvements came at the cost of the battery life. Oddly enough, this could hint to the root of the issues with Storm I. Blackberry handsets are known for their tremendous battery life and is a huge point of pride. In order to keep the Storm I within that same standard as RIM’s existing product lines, sacrifices were made in other areas, now known to be critical to the user experience. RIM needed richer market intelligence prior to the launch of the Storm to understand why the iPhone was resonating with the market. RIM could have avoided the negative impacts to brand, revenue, and market share with drastically improved market intelligence to support their decisions.
This is the promise of Argus Insights. Feel free to contact us at (650) 485 – 3595 or sales@argusinsights.com

Storm  II  Hits  the  Mark!