Blackberry Brand Audit

BlackBerry – an exotic looking fruit with wine like taste. How did that fruit become associated with terms like business, emails, internet on go? How did BlackBerry – which has become a sort of cult, have its fruity name from?

One would think that probably the CEO, Mike Lazaridis or somebody influential from RIM was partial to the seedy fruit. Which “surprise” “surprise” isn? t True. It’s got a more logical origin to it. In 2001, RIM hired Lexicon Branding to help them get a fitting name for their latest wireless messaging device. Understandably, the company wanted a name that would highlight what it called its USP – emails on the go. But after research showed that people tend to relate „e-mail? ith work and thus can raise blood pressure, Lexicon convinced the company to go for a name that would rather induce a feeling of joy and peace.

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It came to the notice of someone that the teeny tiny keys on the RIM’s wireless devices resembled a bunch of seeds. So they started toying with the names of seeded fruits like strawberry, melon etc before settling on “BlackBerry” which reflected the black colour of most of the RIM’s devices as well as sounded pleasing enough. This is how everybody’s favourite BlackBerry got its name.

BlackBerry Bold Do more- faster Bold is the slimmer and sleeker devices supposedly the fastest of Blackberries. Multiple connectivity option right from Wi-Fi to GPS to Bluetooth have been made available with the trackpad replacing the trackball for the ease of use. The battery stays for longer. It also supports 3G for faster browsing, and hence the tag line.

The brand BlackBerry identifies itself as Street Smart, i. e. capable of telling apart what’s important and what’s not by being well-informed as well as alert to change. The brand is well verse with what it is expected to deliver and confident of finishing the task at hand with the best of ability. BlackBerry is like a personal assistant – a friend, supporter, helpmate and resource which is dependable, approachable and fun at the same time, thus improving its likeability.

Due to the heated competition given by Apple and Android, the prices of BlackBerry have fallen under pressure. The expected average selling price in the fourth quarter of year 2009 by the management was $320, while the actual was about $311, well below the estimated. RIM is trying to get a foothold in the high-end smart phone market as well as exploit the growth opportunity in the lower-end mass market. IMS Research expects that in 2011, 420 million smartphones would be sold, near about 28% of the mobile handset market. It’s predicted that this figure would ascend to over 1 billion in 2016, which is half the market. This mean more and more people are expected to upgrade to smartphones, thus providing immense opportunity for growth.

We are just at the beginning of a new wireless era where smartphones will become the standard device consumers will use to connect to friends, the Internet, and the world at large,” Roger Entner, senior vice president of research at Nielsen wrote in a report published in March. “If we combine these intentional data points with falling prices and increasing capabilities of these devices along with a explosion of applications for devices, we are seeing the beginning of a groundswell. ” RIM’s high-end devices were its main source of generating revenue in the past. Now by selling higher volume of its low-end phones, like its Curve or Tour series, the company is primarily targeting the consumers who are upgrading to smartphones for the first time.

Thus the company expects a further fall in the average sale price of its devices. Price influences more to a mass market consumer than early adopters. For this very purpose RIM offers a wide array of devices which are further greatly subsidized by wireless operators. Since the past few years Verizone Wireless has been offering a buy one get one free programs for the BlackBerry devices. More than the price of device, RIM seeks to add value for its customers in terms of data services being offered as compared to competitors. Wireless operators find it cheap to operate RIM devices because BlackBerry devices use wireless networks more efficiently as compared to other devices.

BlackBerry is competing in the low-end mass category with the Android smartphones, while competing with iPhone in the premium high-end category. A number of challenges lay ahead BlackBerry to retain its existing customer base while pooling in more consumers. There has been a fall in the BlackBerry’s market share. RIM’s BlackBerry constitutes 11. 7% of the global smartphone market, according to the market research firm Gartner, in the second quarter of 2011.

BlackBerry has associated itself strongly with emails. The negative being, it could not achieve any foothold other than email. The application store of BlackBerry has just over 10,000 applications out of which 4,100 constitutes themes+wallpapers (24%) or reference+ebooks (17%). While, the iTunes has 43,000 books alone. The popularity of BlackBerry App World is under a tenth of that of iPhone’s App store. Apple portal receives 10 to 20 million downloads per day, while BlackBerry’s App Store, with its 20 million strong user base sees a mere one million downloads per day. The foremost problem here lies with exposure, as App World is optional to download while iPhone’s App Store come preloaded in the phone. Secondly, other important aspects like billing, developer marketing and technical support are not at par with that of competitors.

Not surprisingly, BlackBerry App World was rated the last. Moving over technical issues, RIM needs to improvise its developer payouts. Apple earns only 1 percent of its total profits from the apps. It is using apps only as a means to sell its device, the hardware. So instead of not focussing entirely on earning revenues from apps, it could direct the earnings to the developers and direct on publicising the hot apps and their developers to attract consumers from all fields. Another interesting observation is that Google has its own mobile ad network, and so does Apple.

Firstly, they need to buy a music subscription service like Spotify or Rdio. As the BlackBerry consumers really need a music application, but just cannot find it with BlackBerry. Therefore RIM should ponder over this issue. Music and apps are mainly two customer billing entry advantages. RIM could also make a consideration to widen its credit card database. The plus points with RIM is that they still possess a big assets, including an entrenched corporate customer base and carriers keeping the BlackBerry left with bright hopes. “We believe RIM benefits from carrier desire to support a viable No. 3 platform to fend off Google and Apple,” said Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu. BUSINESS BUDIES

Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have found their flagship in Android. BlackBerry is in a desperate need of business partners may it be Cisco, IBM or Microsoft, a strong relationship with business associates is what BlackBerry should focus on. Why? Because with everyone jumping on the Android bus, consumer distribution has become harder. Moreover, BlackBerry has no flagship carrier. These partners could act as a threat that knits cable business product lines together. Other than that they could present larger players with challenges by integrating application with bandwidth and hence creating a secure, consistent solution that is, say, independent of carrier. With this association, BlackBerry could possibly become M2M enabler for multitude applications.


  1. Keller, K (2011). Strategic Brand Management. 3rd ed. New Delhi: Dorling Kindersley. p60-64.
  2. Brownlow, M. (2011). Smartphone statistics and market share. Available: http://www. emailmarketing-reports. com/wireless-mobile/smartphone-statistics. htm. Last accessed 13th Oct 2011.
  3. Cowley, S. (2011). RIM shares drop as sales and profit plunge. Available: http://money. cnn. com/2011/09/16/technology/rimm_earnings/index. htm. Last accessed 13th Oct 2011.
  4. Epstein, Z. (2011). BlackBerry market share in Q2 may have hit single digits. Available: http://www. bgr. com/2011/09/16/blackberry-market-share-in-q2-may-have-hit-single-digits/. Last accessed 13th Oct 2011.
  5. Reardon, M. (2010). RIM’s strategy to stay on top in smartphones. Available: http://news. cnet. com/8301-30686_3-20004753-266. html.

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Blackberry Brand Audit. (2019, May 01). Retrieved from