ben malki

Bye Bye Blackberry

After years of being chained in the basement of mobile technology, I finally cast aside my Blackberry for a new Droid/electronic man crush.   And by no means am I alone.  What seems like everyone you know with a Blackberry, has either ditched it recently, or is planning to, usually saying something like “sure BBM is great but…”. 

 

As the chart above shows, RIM has been in a nosedive since 2008.  The one time Market leader has consistently failed to keep up with new technologies and mobile trends, essentially becoming the Blockbuster video of the mobile industry.  

While their constant failure to evolve their product line, or really just produce anything better than BBM is the real reason behind their slow crawl into oblivion, it was their inability to cobble together a coherent brand strategy that helped their descent. 

As we’ve talked about ad nasueum in this space, any communication piece must:

Represent brand identity

Be consistent with everything else you produce

Communicate something of value about your product to your consumer

Be disruptive

Here’s what they did instead:

(yea, that’s great, don’t even show the phone)

And then there’s this

A product best known for work exchange servers, corporate email, and a physical keyboard decided to cast itself as a fun, feature rich phone for teenagers who breakdance.  Not only an obvious branding consistency issue, but a–we don’t actually understand the strategic competencies of our phone-issue. I guess its not entirely fair, since there is something consistent about Blackberry’s ads: nicely produced, feature absent spots filled with empty, forgettable catch phrases…. So that’s something.  

At the end of the day, Blackberry’s inferior product is the reason for their coming demise—but if they were hoping that their marketing would keep them afloat, they should think again.

–Ben Malki

 


Friday Quick Thoughts: The good old days....were horribly offensive.

Ah, the days when smoking was good for you, babies could drink soda, and men were men (and subsequently jerks to women)…those were the days?   The following ads are from a time in the advertising world when clearly we lacked a few standards and regulations.  Want kids to start smoking? Use Santa! Don’t want people to think cigarettes are bad for them? How ‘bout some fake doctors, and completely made up medical claims!  Its basically the marketing wild west. Advertisers were having high noon duels with competing babies drinking inappropriate things for being babies, and women, were apparently total idiots.  This was a time without rules.  Enjoy!

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Crazy, right? Amazing how women were depicted in ads throughout the stone age…wait, what? the 60’s?  yikes.  Either way it was a simpler, dumber time, when men controlled household spending, women were there to act stupid and cook and marketers were there to exploit the cultural subservience of the fairer sex.  But no matter how poorly female figures were depicted, it was ok! None of these companies suffered a major consumer backlash, that’s just how things were.  

But things have changed, now women control the purse strings, and advertisers have a new target to mock.  Husbands.  Maybe the  pendulum swung a little too far the other way… Watch the following video for some for some perspective.