Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has gotten a lot of grief since its last earnings report, as it should, but one columnist says the company’s problem is simple. It just needs to go back to doing what it was good at before and reinvigorate the BlackBerry brand.
Choosing The Right BlackBerry Spokesperson
E-Commerce Times columnist Jeff Kagan writes that the Blackberry maker should stop reinventing itself and trying to focus on a new market and refocus its efforts on the market it knows: business and government. He says that while Alicia Keys might be a great spokesperson for many brands, she’s probably not the best choice for Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). Instead, he believes someone like Warren Buffett or General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) CEO Jack Welch would be better choices. “Serious people for serious customers,” he wrote.
Of course that would depend on whether Buffett, Welch, or any other high profile business person would be willing to put their name on the product.
A Plan For Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY)
He refers to AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and the way it refreshed itself in the 2000s. The company was acquired by SBC, but the brand name was kept because of how strong it was. Over time, it acquired several smaller companies and has continued expending and refreshing its brand again and again. Kagan advises that this is exactly what BlackBerry should do.
In addition to returning to its strong brand, he also said the company should talk again to its customers except be a better listener the next time around and make sure to give them what they want. He notes that business and government smartphone users don’t want the same things standard consumers do. They want a business device that does what they need it to do. In fact, he says it should do all the things the old BlackBerry devices did while adding new features and apps in a way that don’t involve pulling the plug on past and current customers.
BBRY’s 15 Percent
Kagan also note that when Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) and the BlackBerry brand were “popular and growing,” smartphones only made up 15 percent of the mobile phone market. Today smartphones are about 50 percent of the market, but he doesn’t think the majority of that market will ever be BlackBerry customers because the brand doesn’t mean anything to them.
Instead, he said if the company can just focus again on that original 15 percent of the market, everything will improve because those customers aren’t looking for an iOS or Android experience. He says they want a refreshed, new and improved BlackBerry experience that simply updates the old and that Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) should focus on its own “slice of the pie” without trying to “grab a bigger slice” yet.