Blackberry’s Z10 – a move in the right direction?

A recent blog post by Karen Lee discusses the arrival of the Blackberry Z10 smartphone. Given the decline of the company Research in Motion Limited (RIM) –the developer of the Blackberry brand/smartphones- in 2012, the Z10’s recent release was much anticipated, and crucial to the company. Karen’s blog focuses on the idea of the promotion of this smartphone, and the critical decision of the company (Research in Motion) to officially change their name to Blackberry- which is much more recognizable amongst consumers. I agree with Karen when she points out that by changing their name to Blackberry, the company takes advantage of any positive connotations related to it. When I think of the name “Blackberry” I think of quality phones that cater to businesses/business people and/or other business functions. In regards to the Z10’s success, this view of “Blackberry” is both good and bad. Blackberry is likely to do well amongst business-focused consumers, as it has already built a strong brand reputation that caters to them. However, with this newest addition to Blackberry’s devices, the Z10 ads appear to be catering to a broader, more youthful and active audience. For example, this Z10 ad

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starts with the original view of what a Blackberry device would be useful for (in an office) but promptly segues into many different activities and scenarios where diverse groups of individuals are using the smartphone for many other activities far from its traditional business/office functions. For this reason, while the Z10 can be seen as a line extension- another smartphone added to their previous models- I also see it as a brand extension, because this particular phone has many new and different features, but most importantly, is going after a completely new target market. To this target market (those less engaged in business activities), the Z10 would appear as a completely new product offered under the Blackberry brand (brand extension).

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