Why RIM Must Eat Its Own Marketing ‘Dogfood’

I posted a picture of RIM’s new advertising campaign targeting Apple and it’s iPhone asking visitors to the site to tell me what they thought about it.  The comments were, almost entirely, negative.

‘Let’s hope this ad is self-talk. RIM do desperately need to try something different’, wrote Buckle Up.

‘This is a great ad for Apple as they have built their business on both thinking AND doing different(ly). RIM have not only run out of ideas, they have started to take good ones and turn them into bad ones’, wrote Dean Johnson of Brandwidth.

‘The problem with it is that there is nothing behind. BlackBerry is not different in any positive way, so their “difference” means nothing.

‘I don’t see this being at all effective, just a parting shot of a tired brand.’, said Richard Beck of Digital Possibilities.

Now, I don’t agree with all of these viewpoints.  I’m not sure that, having seen the Blackberry 10 demo at the recent BlackBerry World Developer event a couple of weeks ago, I don’t agree that they’ve run out of ideas. there’s no doubt there is innovation, development talent and understands what its customers need in their next Blackberry devices.  There’s also some talented product marketeers.

I also don’t believe that BlackBerry is a tired brand.  It still has strong market recognition and a loyal customer base… 70 million is still a sizeable customer base. So, what’s going wrong?

I wrote a few weeks ago about why I believed RIM was it’s own worst enemy and that I believed it needed to focus its attention on Enterprise customers. I wanted RIM to drop its focus on Apple and the iPhone – right now I don’t believe that the company will persuade any current or potential iPhone owners to choose a Blackberry instead.  Cheap shots will be seen, as commentators on my earlier blog post saw them, as exactly that.  The latest advert is like picking a school yard fight with the kid that’s already beaten you up – while you might feel better for it, everybody knows who really won the fight that mattered.

If RIM is to turn around its ailing business, convince people to choose a BlackBerry over an iPhone it needs to focus on delivering products that people want to buy. That deliver something customers can’t get from competitors handsets and they need to change consumers perceptions about its brand.

In order to do that, it actually needs to THINK DIFFERENT AND DO DIFFERENT.

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