Archive for October, 2010

We’re the Blackberry boys…

What an ad, beautiful song, nicely executed and the message is simple and clear. But my worry is with the message what they have communicated. The ad is saying now we are not for corporates we are for everyone, by everyone I meant youngsters.

What few things I have learnt by observing brands and by working with different agencies is brand creates certain perception in minds of the consumers and if brands dilutes those perception by moving away from the core positioning it will affect them in some or the other way. They might enjoy the fruits in the short term but in long term it will damage the brand.

All the believers who don’t believe in line extensions and brand extensions will believe in what I am saying. One of my friend also likes to understand brands and study what’s happening in the market scenario even he has the same view on the step taken by Blackberry. His concern is also the same, why Blackberry diverted its focus from its core positioning? For more on his views, please visit ….. http://myadpsyche.wordpress.com/

But considering Blackberry as a brand and making it such a big move, I thought maybe there is a strong thought behind this move. I kept on thinking what’s the motive behind this move?

I still remember the initial days of Blackberry in the Indian market when my dad’s corporate friends use to flaunt it.

I thought what a differentiation in the clutter market, where you come and say I am the phone only for corporate guys. But if a brand says I am for corporates they too must have features in their mobile phones which are only used by corporates. Email as an option was rapidly moving in the corporate world at that time and BB got an email service feature in it. The BB email service feature was as simple as sending an email via computer or laptops. It was easily accepted and people started believing that BB is meant for the corporates. That’s it BB was positioned in the minds of the consumers as a brand for corporates.

Think about it, a strong positioned brand which is set in the minds of the consumers, why to move away from it?

After cracking my head on this for quite some time I wasn’t getting the answer to my question but one day while traveling in the train, I saw a youngster using BB and suddenly the thought struck me. Think about it BB never said now I have launched new models and new colors for everyone. Different segments of people first started using BB for different reasons that’s when BB came forward and said We are not only for corporate, we are for everyone.

Because of their features people outside the corporate world started using BB.

There are few things which compelled youngsters to use BB:

  1. First being they came out with different models with different price range keeping themselves.
  2. For these products they came out with different colors so people got more options.
  3. Third and main important point was BB messenger technology (BB users can chat with each other for free in which ever part of the world they are) was known to people and it got a huge word of mouth. I came to know about BB messenger through a friend who used BB.
  4. A huge PR generated that BB messenger is going to get banned all over the world because government has difficulty to trace the messages which are communicated through messenger.
  5. Most important point if you look at BB as a mobile for corporates it has nothing do with Corporates anymore, Corporates main feature on which they had differentiated themselves is used by all and that is email service, which earlier was only used by corporates now everyone uses it.

All these factors compelled people to put BB in their consideration set while buying a mobile phone.

So now when everyone is using BB and even youngsters have accepted it so why only stand for corporates. BB now cannot come up with another brand and say hey hi I am from BB called BB YOUTH for youngsters. They could have done this if youngsters would have denied using BB or had some apprehensions using it but they have accepted it knowing the fact it was meant for corporates.

So why not come and openly communicate that we are not only for corporates but for everyone?

I will conclude by saying BB has done a smart move by saying I am for everyone and moving away from the corporate image after having said that I will also say, as they successfully succeeded in moving away they have left the space open for another brand to come and say hey Hello I am for Corporates.

Ofcourse a brand for corporates has to come out with a unique feature or features which are majorly used by corporates. May be they can say I am a mobile brand for corporates because I have the best office feature which is as simple as Microsoft office in your computers or laptops.

Once Corporates uses it and feels that the brand’s office features are really simple and uncomplicated then BOOM the idea is sold.

Ashish Shakya

Writer. Stand-up comic. General idiot for hire.

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