February 1, 2012
RIM Tries Superheroes To Increase Marketing Appeal
A company´s product should sell itself not a half-hearted attempt to try to appeal to a younger demographic. Research In Motion, who makes the Blackberry line of smartphones, is trying the latter.
On Monday RIM introduced “The Bold Team”. They are four cartoon superheroes designed to spread the word about the company´s products. Currently RIM trails both Apple´s iOS and Android smartphones.The four members of the new scheme are GoGo Girl (The Achiever), Max Stone (The Adventurer), Justin Steele (The Advocate), and Trudy Foreal (The Authentic). These four characters are a playful representation of different types of Blackberry users, not a new marketing campaign.
The Bold Team follows in the heels of the “Be Bold” marketing campaign introduced in New York City on New Year´s Eve. RIM was encouraging its customers to take command of 2012 and be bold, according to Information Week.
After the team was released to the internet, critics were quick to comment. Slashgear reports that RIM misinterpreted their target audience and were being contrary to new CEO Thorsten Heins´ intentions for the company. Heins apparently wanted to push the BlackBerry as a package of services, hardware and features rather than split it up and dilute its appeal.
The cartoon characters may not be too far from BlackBerry´s audience. RIM products were strong in the UK during the pre-holiday shopping season. Carriers heavily promoted the products and bundled them with inexpensive media packages with low-cost contracts, but those sales may only last a couple of quarters. But RIM still caters to the corporate customer who wants a secure messaging phone in order to keep up with the office while on the road.
But marketing isn´t RIM´s main problem. PCMag notes that RIM´s problem is their product. Today´s smartphone user wants a phone with apps and web access. The BlackBerry is still primarily a messaging phone. And the CEO acknowledges the company´s challenge of putting out phones that people want on time, bug-free and with exciting features.
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