Case Study Fridays: Blackberry

Bloomberg Business week said that the iPhone is only the second-best selling phone in 2010. The first is the Blackberry Curve, which is coincidentally what I have.

Ironically, when I’m in a group of people, whether they’re friends or family, more of them have iPhones. There’s a feeling that my phone is second best. Not that I have problems with that because I’ve been pretty happy with my phone. It is interesting to discover that more people have actually purchased this year the kind of phone I have, when it seems like everyone and their mothers, literally, have iPhones.

Blackberrys have effective been marketed as a business-friendly phone. It’s design is suited to the business world– sleek, accented with a few silver strokes, and has a full keyboard. Blackberrys has been transformative for texters because it made it easy to type faster.

Blackberry ads are interesting to examine, because they can be extremes of each other. Print ads are usually sleek, made of sparkle and bright neon lights that hint at a futuristic environment. Their TV spots, however, are realistic, featuring real people interacting with the technology instead of just featuring a device. They are filled with voiceovers or speech in some form, compared to print ads that scrimps on words. Within these ads are also differences in who their target audiences are– some TV ads show older people using Blackberries, while some feature a trendier, younger crowd. Their target audience spans a huge range of ages, but they target different age groups with tailored commercials, compared to, say, Apple that can have one ad that can target different age groups all at once.

Moving forward, I think Blackberry has done a great job with its ads, but the concern they have to consider is, how are they going to appeal to a once-younger crowd that is growing older– think, those who are in their mid- to late-teens. How can Blackherry maintain their older, more corporate clientele, while also reigning over those who are developing an increasing need for a long-term cellphone?

Security is an issue they can raise to the younger generation, by illustrating how personal correspondence can be protected from possible hacking. After all, this is Blackberry’s strength over Apple. Another way to present the Blackberry is as a gateway into adulthood– a device that helps them transition from high school or college, a gadget that has a lot of functionality and “cool apps”, but one that can also be utilized to give them a more polished image.


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