Archive for August, 2010

Dear BlackBerry, Use More Celebrities!

Friday, August 27th, 2010

The above video was taken at the BlackBerry Red Carpet Event for the Launch of the BlackBerry Torch 9800(which I will be getting in less than 10 days!). The star power on the red carpet was strong and for BlackBerry users, just the tip of the iceberg. Celebrity displays like this have me scratching my head as to why Research in Motion(NASDAQ: RIMM) can’t parlay the status of their customers into a good marketing campaign. The most powerful, influential, and trendy people in the world swear by their BlackBerry and the only way anybody knows it is to go onto a blog dedicated to the device, far out of the way of mainstream consumers. Why?

How hard is it to get Drizzy Drake, the hottest young artist in hip-hop to shoot a commercial?  How about LeBron James, the most famous basketball player in the world? Drake has already done commercials for Sprite, Lebron for State Farm, among others. What about Kim Kardashian? Paris Hilton? President Barack Obama?! I could keep going. The point is these are people who have massive audiences, influence, and are some of the biggest trend setters in the world. When they pick up or endorse a product, it makes waves.  And somehow RIM has no idea what to do with that opportunity.

Apple is the company of cool. Steve Jobs is ultra-cool with that black turtleneck and his followers eat up every word he says. Jobs successfully turned Apple into a company that can cost more than all of its competitors and still attract a heavy customer base. Because Apple has the cool, sleek products. Many people, dedicated Apple users included, don’t know what the iPad is for, but that doesn’t matter. Apple made it. That means we buy it. Google is a marketing company above everything else. They became who they are by building an advertising empire and so it is no surprise that they have flooded the market with devices running their Android OS.

RIM does not have an innovation problem. They are not an old company set in their ways. They just have no idea how to sell a product. For years nearly all of their business was conducted without so much as one television commercial for the general public to view. Then one day they woke up and realized that the consumer market was ripe for the picking. The only problem was that companies like Apple and Google made the same observation and the consumer market is their bread and butter.

RIM has to adapt, quickly. Hire a firm that can breath some life into their campaigns. Anything to connect the dots. I’m not saying their phones couldn’t upgrade a feature or two to make them more attractive. But across the board every phone has glaring deficiencies. This is a battle of tactics. Who can reach the masses with the most attractive sales pitch. What device offers the widest appeal. The world’s most influential say the answer is BlackBerry. How does RIM tell the world the answer is BlackBerry? I hope they figure out the answer.