Shift in Blackberry marketing strategy with the Bold 9900?

by | May 22, 2011 | General Tech

What is the Blackberry marketing strategy?

Last week I browsed Blackberry’s website and noticed a promotion for the upcoming Blackberry Bold 9900/9930.  It made me think – this is the first time (in ages) I can recall Blackberry posting releases of upcoming phones on their website.  It’s always a mystery of what their new phones will be.  There is always hype on the forums of what the phones should be, and the new releases usually come and go with little to no fireworks. Has there been a shift the Blackberry marketing strategy?

Has Blackberry done a double take about their marketing strategy?  Have they seen enough of their new phones released with little to no hoopla or consumer anticipation?  Have they seen their competition’s releases have massive impacts in the market while their new products receive little to no attention?

I have a few ideas for Blackberry in order to stay relevant:

  1. Focus and limit the number of their phones. Blackberry cannot be everything to everyone.  Their product lines run the spectrum and try to appease to all consumers in the market.  By losing focus, their product lines have become inferior and RIM lost their advantage.  RIM is now in catch up mode, paddling upstream to catch both Android and Apple.  If RIM can limit their product line to four phones (one for the business executive, one for the trendy consumer, a touch screen and a mid model) they can build a stronger sense of purpose in their client’s mind.  They waste internal resources coming out with new phones and new launches, instead of improving their current lines.  An example is the one off ‘Tour’ which seemed like it was a stop gap.
  2. Release new products around the same time of year. Pick a time of year and release new products around the same time.  Stick to it.  Build anticipation in the consumer and they will be condition and excited for new products to arrive.  Their current launch strategy seems haphazard and consumers don’t know when to expect new products/innovations, and as a result little to no anticipation or excitement.
  3. Blackberry must improve their products and be an innovator and not a follower. Their products are not on par with their competition, and the new Bold looks like it will not be something new or motivating consumers to upgrade.  This phone should have been released 1-2 years ago, RIM is too far behind the curve.  There is only so long loyalists will stay with Blackberry, as they watch their associates with newer, faster, COOLER phones and tablets.  The phones are extremely slow, outdated and a very poor browsing experience.  Yes, executives like toys!  Look at the fancy cars, boat and planes!
  4. Promote new products and upcoming releases to your current clients! I have been a Blackberry user for many years, and never has an email from Blackberry crossed my inbox about a new upcoming phone — and I’ve used my personal email address a few times over the years to be notified of updates.  Not marketing to your current clientele is such an oversight and wasted opportunity.
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If Blackberry wishes to continue to be relevant in the Smartphone industry, they had better understand their client and do a much better job of delivering ground breaking products.  I’m hoping that the pre-release marketing message of an upcoming phone on their website is a new way of thinking for Blackberry and the Blackberry marketing strategy.

Intrigued? Have some thoughts on the subject? Contact us!

Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.

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