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					             Blackberry’s Rise in Brand Power:
The Dueling Marketing Strategies of RIM versus Apple

                              Team Accendo:

Heather Learn, Nasim Ghoraishi, Louie Wu, Amanda Qiu, Winnie Yao, Kurre Dinh

                                FMGT 1E
                              Marketing 1102
                               Jeff Collier

                                        October 22, 2009
                                       Case Assignment

Key Findings:

How can Blackberry stay competitive against Apple’s large and fierce company? And how can
Blackberry continue to be a competitor in the markets and continue building its brand? With
Apple’s wide verity of products such as: iPhone, Ipod, MacBook, and Apple television, how can
Blackberry’s Smartphone’s new Tour, Storm, or Curve match them? What do we really have to
do to make Blackberry the top of its class and to dominate the market on who has the best brand.


   -    Blackberry
       Over 21 million people use the Blackberry Smartphone on over 375 wireless networks
        and in 140 countries around the world.
       Developed by a Canadian company called Research In Motion (RIM) in Waterloo,
        Ontario, Canada.
        Newer additions blackberry’s cost $500-$700 to purchase without a contract.
       Purchasing a blackberry is very versatile because it is offered in almost every cell phone
       There is a store for blackberry users so they can buy or download applications at

   -    iPhone
       Apple was established on April 1st, 1979 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald
        Wayne, to sell the Apple 1 personal computer kit.
       The very first iPhone was introduced on June 29, 2007.
       Released on July 11th, 2008, was the iPhone 3G.
       On June 8, 2009, the latest version of the iPhone came out. It’s called iPhone 3GS.
       With the app store available to iPhone subscribers, you’re able to download or buy
        thousands of applications for your phone.
       Apple has a large variety of products that they carry such as: iPod, Apple television,
        MacBook ect.

     In 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh Portable, which was 17 pounds and had 12
      hours battery life. Then in 1991 they upgraded and came out with the PowerBook, which
      was 7 pounds and 3 hours battery life, and sold 1 billion dollars worth in the first year.

Research Summary
     With all the research that was made, clearly RIM is starting to make its way to the top.
      With the new applications that Blackberry is starting to come out with, it is starting to
      grab a lot of new attention that can possibly push Blackberry’s name to a higher level. If
      Blackberry makes the right decisions in the future and markets well enough with its new
      Smartphone’s, the record numbers of sales that Blackberry holds now will be broken
      again and therefore Blackberry will be the most popular and best brand of cellular phones
      out there.

SWOT Analysis

Softwares: There is a wide variety of software available in order to help personalize your
BlackBerry, such as: software which allows you to select and download your favourite music,
pictures, and videos onto your phone with the click of a button, as well as software which aims to
keep you connected to the world through the download of media-based and business

Support and Services: In order to allow customers to truly understand the capabilities of their
BlackBerry, the company has developed a BlackBerry Solution Service. This service allows
users to mobilize their workforce and life with BlackBerry Enterprise Server and Email
Solutions directly from their BlackBerry or home computer.

Devices: Throughout the years, BlackBerry has diversified the look of their phone, and it is now
available in many different colours and styles, such as touch screen and dedicated media keys.

BlackBerry App World: This application allows BlackBerry users to find a variety of apps
designed specifically for the BlackBerry in one convenient place. Any app within this program
can be downloaded and purchased directly from your BlackBerry. Some of the most popular
apps allow you to check the weather, play games, and track the stock market.

Owner lounge: This application, which comes standard on all BlackBerry’s, allow users access
to free downloads, exclusive news, promotions and BlackBerry applications, by simply
completing a simple and fast membership enrollment.

Worldwide: BlackBerry is an extremely well known phone throughout the world, and is
available through a variety of different phone companies.


Brand: The BlackBerry brand is not as well known as the Apple brand, which is associated with
the iPhone.

Service disruptions: Network outage has caused widespread service disruption all across North
America on a few occasions.

Competitive Analysis

The current competitor with BlackBerry is the Apple iPhone. Here is the comparision facts
between the two brands:

              In 2009, RIM’s fiscal revenue was $11.07 billion, up 84% from $6.01 billion in
               fiscal 2008.
              In the most recent quarter ended in December, Apple sold 4,363,000 iPhones.
              Even in these hard economic times, Apple still managed to surpass 10 billion in
               quarterly revenue in 2009.

              Apple sold 2,544,000 Macintosh, 22,727,000 iPods, and 4,363,000 iPhones in one
              Rim’s revenue breakdown for the quarter was approximately 83% for devices,
               12% for service, 2% for software and 3% for other revenue.
              There were 25 million new Blackberry subscribers within the end of a quarter.

Target Market:
According to the main characteristic of RIM, BlackBerry is a mobile phone which is specifically
designed for the business person. Therefore, the major target market should be consumers
between the age of 30 and 50 who work in the business world. In term of product development,
the Asian market should be specifically targeted due to the recent demand for technology that
these countries have experienced.

Alternative1/ Strategy

Our first alternative is to use advertisement and promotion in order to increase the popularity of
the BlackBerry. Although this phone came into the market in 1992, it has several rival brands
such as Apple and HTC. Through the use of advertisement and promotion, BlackBerry will be
able to increase their market, and decrease the amount of people who are currently using their
competitor’s services.


   1) Able to target specific markets through their use of advertisement.
   2) Marketing to a variety of specific target audiences will diversify the population of
      BlackBerry users, and will therefore increase their profits and popularity.
   3) The use of promotion allows BlackBerry to introduce loyalty and reward programs to
      their customers. This will increase their sales through word-of-mouth advertising, as well
      as ensure repeat customers.


   1) Marketing is expensive and time consuming.
   2) If target consumers respond extremely well to BlackBerry’s marketing efforts, an
      increase in demand of the phone may lead to a shortage of BlackBerry availability within
      the stores. This may prevent potential buyers from waiting for the BlackBerry to be
      restocked, and may increase their likelihood to chose a cell phone from another company.
   3) There is a chance that BlackBerry’s marketing and promotional tactics will fail, and that
      the company will simply lose money instead of make money.

Alternative 2:

By improving the technology of the BlackBerry, the company can greatly increase their possible
market. One specific market that BlackBerry should target is the Asian market due to its recent
demand for new and exciting technology. Making the BlackBerry more technologically
advanced by enhancing the graphics, including standard applications such as GPS, and
increasing the entertainment options on the phone, more people are apt to choose the BlackBerry
as their mobile phone of choice.


   1) Will increase their likelihood of gaining a huge following in technologically savvy
      continents, such as Asia. By gaining a stronghold on this market, BlackBerry will greatly
      increase their profits.
   2) This change will also increase the amount of investors that the company has, thereby
      increasing their value on the stock market.
   3) Increase the competitive strength of the phone.


   1) These changes will increase the price of the BlackBerry.
   2) In order to develop the above recommendations, BlackBerry must increase the amount of
      workers that it employs.
   3) This idea has a chance of failing, which will cost the company millions of dollars.

Alternative 3:

Our last alternative is to create specific “BlackBerry” stores which will sell of the gadgets and
gizmos associated with the brand. While this will increase the profit of the company, it will also
allow BlackBerry to try out new and exciting product enhancements within the convenience of
their own store.

    1) This will greatly increase BlackBerry’s profits because all revenue will go directly to the
       company instead of partially to the middleman.
    2) BlackBerry will be able to try out product changes at their own leisure and within their
       own space.
    3) A “BlackBerry” store will increase the healthy competition between the Apple iPhone
       and the Blackberry, therefore increasing the loyalty of their customers.


   1) The planning, development, and execution of these stores would be expensive.
   2) BlackBerry would need to increase the amount of products associated with the phone in
      order to have enough material to run a store with.
   3) People may fail to visit this store, which will lead to huge losses for the BlackBerry


       Our group identified several problems with RIM and its operations, and tried to answer
through these problems why RIM is not the techno-giant leading Apple. The current situation
with RIM can be clearly defined by their inability to reach out to the common consumer. As
mentioned in the problem stated above, RIM must find a way to increase market share. After
much discussion, our group decides that the best way to increase market share, while engaging
with as many potential customers as possible, is to open retail stores worldwide.

Store Development

       “As of October 2009, Apple has opened 274 [retail] stores.” For this reason, it should be
evident that RIM needs to do the same for its operations and future prosperity. Currently, there
is only 1 Blackberry retail store, located in Michigan, US. Apple has 14 retail stores across
Canada (Alberta (2), BC (2), Manitoba (1), Ontario (6), and Quebec (3)). In order for RIM to
compete with this kind of competition, our group propose that wherever there is an Apple Retail
Store, there will be a Blackberry Store.

Implementation Plan

         The speed at which this strategy could be implemented falls on how much investment
capital is desirable to put forth. Ideally, there will be at least one Blackberry Retail Store
wherever there is an Apple Retail Store. Blackberry will be a Canadian icon, if it isn’t already.
The need for consumers to conveniently to go a nearby retail outlet and make their purchases
should be met. Since RIM is a Canadian company, we want to start its retail outlet expansion in
Canada first. The following is an analysis of where the store we wish to be and what products
and services will be sold:

Location of Stores

         -   (2) in Alberta; Calgary (1) and Edmonton (1)
         -   (3) in British Columbia; Burnaby (1) and Vancouver (2)
         -   (1) in Manitoba; Winnipeg (1)
       -   (6) in Ontario; Hamilton (1), Mississauga (1), Ottawa (1), and Toronto (3)
       -   (2) in Quebec; Montreal (1) and Quebec City (1)

Products and Services

     Smartphones
     Hardware Support
     Blackberry Business Solutions
     Blackberry Accessories
     Blackberry Enterprise v5.0

Solution B:

One particular problem that our team found with this marketing case was RIMs limited use of
effective advertisements and promotions. In order to increase their profits, market shares, and
popularity, RIM must diversify and enhance their current use of marketing. RIM specifically
needs to develop a new following of users, who have previously not used their phones. In order
to achieve this, RIM must be willing to produce an updated version of the BlackBerry which
includes features that each specific market desires.

Implementation Plan:

In order to implement this plan, RIM needs to carry out a variety of actions. These actions

    -   Sending surveys to a wide variety of potential consumers regarding specific features that
        their ideal phone will include
    -    Developing target markets from this survey, based on age and probable reason for using
        a BlackBerry. These reasons can include: business, media or social networking
    -   Develop phones which cater to all of the features that the specific target markets want
    -   Develop ads that effectively promote BlackBerry’s new and improved phones, and which
        will target the specific consumer base that they are trying to entice
    -   Lure in their customers with promotional programs, such as loyal perks and reward

Course Concepts:
Business to Consumer: The process of selling merchandise or services from one business to another.

Customer Relationship Management: A business philosophy and set of strategies, programs, and systems
that focus on identifying and building loyalty among the firm’s most valued customers.

Marketing Mix: Product, price, place and promotion- the controllable set of activities that a firm uses to
respond to the wants of its target markets.

Target Marketing: The process of evaluating the attractiveness of various segments and then deciding
which to pursue as a market.

SWOT Analysis: A situational analysis which defines a company by: strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, and threats.

Market Research: A set of techniques and principles for systematically collecting, recording, analyzing,
and interpreting data thr can aid decision markers involved in marketing goods, services, or ideas.

Market Development Strategy: A growth strategy that employs the existing marketing offering to reach
new market segments, whether domestic or international.


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Blackberry’s rise in brand power: The dueling marketing strategies of RIM versus Apple. Received 2009,
October 8, 2009 from Marketing Class.

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World website:


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