The outstanding sales achieved by iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in mobiles got me thinking about how a ‘once niche’ brand has gained such popularity in India without dropping its price. The success cannot be attributed to the product alone since it has not been as disruptive as its predecessors. Apple’s brand pull was the main reason, building steam since its entry into India and reaping the benefits now.
So if Apple can overtake Samsung in India with brand pull and with hardly any price drop, can’t Blackberry aim for the same? Blackberry has great brand loyalty even today, especially in India. Being an ex-BB user, I still have a soft spot for it.
……..BlackBerry CEO John Chen had said that India was critical to the revival of the company…….For BlackBerry, things went “out of control” in the last few years in India: its market share plummeted from 14.8 per cent in April-June 2010 to just 0.5 per cent in January-March 2014…….. BlackBerry could not withstand the onslaught from South Korea’s Samsung at the top end and from homegrown Micromax at the bottom end. Apple, with its sudden and huge buyback push, too took buyers away from BlackBerry- Business Standard
“With the launch of BlackBerry Classic, we bring back the unique BlackBerry QWERTY experience that made the BlackBerry smartphones a users’ go-to productivity tool,” said Sunil Lalvani, managing director, BlackBerry India. “The BlackBerry Classic is designed to give users a distinct experience that every BlackBerry QWERTY loyalist and high-productivity business customer will love. This device brings the best of BlackBerry features and the keyboard functionalities familiar to BlackBerry Bold and Curve users on a secure and productive platform, with the added performance and agility that power professionals need to be competitive in today’s busy world.”– Times of India
Thus the TG is well defined as the business customer and power professionals who use the phone not for play but for work, productivity and security.
Marketing Objective: Reassure the business customer of the original brand promise of business friendly and secure phones. With this background,
If I were marketing @ Blackberry Mobiles…
Sticky Marketing Ideas:
1. Safe Deposit Box as a mobile phone
At metro stations near business areas in Delhi, 1 promoter dressed in business suit can walk around with a 3D 1 ft by 1 ft safe deposit box held at his ear as if he is using it as his cell phone. The 2nd promoter will be holding a placard- Ensure secure communication with Blackberry Classic!
2. Lock shaped screening booth at business park entrances
Put up a dummy screening booth at business park entrances- in the shape of a huge lock. Everyone who enters the booth will be handed out a Blackberry Classic shaped leaflet bearing a message on the screen-Secure communication for your work – only on a Blackberry.
3. Tie-up and cross promotion with Godrej Locks/ Securities Solutions Division
In India, Godrej is the leader in the securities space- be it security boxes or locks. In terms of message, there is a good fit between Blackberry and Godrej. This fit can be leveraged in a mutually beneficial tie-up or cross promotion.
4. Executive MBA colleges/ universities
At the best Executive MBA institutes, one of the projects given to students could be regarding the phone and its features. Executive MBA candidates are people who would surely appreciate and use productivity improving phones since they work and study at the same time!
5. Blend Mode Meru/ Uber/ Ola Cab tie-up
For all Merus/ Uber/ Ola booked after 9pm (end of the day when phone battery is usually low) In the backseat – put a lit ad which says ‘Phone battery low? Need to urgently finish work? Do it on your laptop/ tablet! Blackberry Blend mode’
6. Blend Mode Industrial Park Sign Posts
From the entrance of the industrial park or area till the office elevators- place big signposts at regular intervals starting with- Forgot your Blackberry at home? / Need Mr. Sharma’s contact number from your contacts? / What time was the agency meeting? / Need that image for your urgent presentation? / The vendor was going to sms you the quotation? etc with the final signpost at office staircase or elevator stating– Check all this on your laptop or tablet with Blackberry Blend.
7. Memory Test
At malls and high footfall places, conduct a little game. Participant has to hand over his phone to the compere and the compere will ask him the phone number of any random person from his phone contacts. Most people would not remember phone numbers by heart. The message being- If you forget your phone or battery dies, don’t worry. Access your contacts on your laptop or tablet with BB Blend.
8. Tie-up with SME Associations or Entrepreneurial Clubs
One of the new features of BBM is the BBM Channel that can be started by a company or a brand. The channel is akin to a Facebook Group or page but the best benefit here is that your message will not have to fight through an overcrowded newsfeed to get in front of the TG. Tie up with the above mentioned associations to explain the benefits of BBM Channel and Blackberry security for the SME sector. Or conduct workshops on the same.
9. Social Media Funny one Liners
Create a series of before and after pictures of one liners which have got twisted into something else due to typos on touchscreen phones. Example: Before scenario “Written on Touchscreen” and after scenario “Written on Blackberry Classic QWERTY”. If these are really funny, they could go viral and address a major pain point of touchscreen phone users.
10. Blindfold radio competition
Via OB link near metro stations (metro stations would have the right TG), conduct a radio contest wherein the RJ blindfolds a participating office goer and dictates a sentence for him to type and send to the radio channel. The RJ at the studio would then read out on air the funny message received. The thought being- Use the BB Classic QWERTY to send the right message.
11. Ghatkopar Metro Station Branding
Outside Ghatkopar Metro Station, Mumbai, put banners on the railing from top to bottom. Two reasons why this would work : Ghatkopar Metro has the highest number of passengers on Mumbai metro (Times Of India) and metro travellers comprise of the TG.
12. Mumbai and Delhi Airport Seats Branding
At the Mumbai and Delhi airports, on the seats- write each letter on each seat such that from afar it looks like QWERTY keyboard. It will have stickiness and memorability. The idea being- Go back to the Blackberry QWERTY comfort.
13. Seat Branding in Mumbai AC local buses
The above idea can be implemented for AC BEST buses too. Because the office professionals too travel by AC BEST bus.
These are some ideas for Blackberry Classic mobiles. Hope they aid the revival of BB in India. So do you think they would help?
Assumption: Mumbai Metro branding and advertising rates are feasible.