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For BlackBerry, "Brand Love" Must Trump Tech Specs
Posted on February 1st 2013
BlackBerry (formely know as RiM) recently made its last-ditch effort to reengage the world and prevent its stock from disappearing all together. There are countless articles out there that talk about the new phones and the OS and, generally, I think it all looks pretty good.
I'm not going to talk about my perspective on the launch, or whether I think they will ultimately succeed or not; rather, I'd like to comment on the continued missed perception in the industry as news sites and blogs slave over comparisons of tech specs and neglect comparison of one of the most important specs of all: "Brand Love/Connection."
Take for example, the following spec comparison of the three leaders in mobile phone penetration. When you line them up head to head, things look pretty even. None of them stand out really versus the others. In other words, from an actual tech functionality point of view, you are getting basically the same phone. Thus they should all have even splits of the market, right? Wrong.
Have you ever compared the tech specs of a Mac versus a PC, especially when you layer in price? Apple pretty much always loses on these comparisons. The only time, in recent history, when Apple has pulled ahead is with its new retina-display. But even for that, it is ridiculously expensive.
I'm not going to get into a numbers game in this post. I have one point to make and that is in a market where the technology has become somewhat of a commodity, tiny differences in processor speed and RAM are not going to make the difference.
The most important factor for BlackBerry right now is if it can recapture the hearts and imaginations of the consumers and business people that were loyal in the past and those who might consider them in the future. Apple and Samsung are on entirely different ends of the spectrum when it comes to brand equity and personal connection with a brand. Samsung has been working hard to change that, and they are arguably doing a good job at it, but they still lag far behind Apple.
I believe that in its new iteration, BlackBerry has the tech legs to stand on now (after previous disasters with the Plabook and Torch) to give it another go in the industry.
The question is, can they create a sense of love for the BlackBerry brand itself? This will define its success in the future. What do you think?