I've been doing a little experiment
I've had a Dev Alpha for months (I was actually the 5th person in line to receive one at BlackBerry Jam in Orlando) and since I've had it I've been doing an experiment with random people.
I loaded my Dev Alpha up with apps and the PlayBook HD demo video, then I let total strangers at wireless carrier stores (shoppers, employees and even a VZW store manager) use it. I just got up to random people and I ask them if they would like to try out an unreleased, development smartphone that isn't finished yet. I explain that isn't a retail product and it never will be and that once a version of it is released it will look completely different. All of that good stuff, I just don't say who it is made by. The people have no idea it is a BlackBerry until they have had a chance to play with it and I get their opinion of the device.
Most of the people I have asked have agreed to play with it and the results are pretty funny and depressing at the same time. Each time I have done this experiment the same thing happens. I walk them through how to use it a little bit. I let them play some games, I show them the incredible multitasking, they surf the internet some and watch the PlayBook HD demo video (started by me and skipped to avoid the first few seconds). After they've spent 5 or so minutes with the device I simply ask "What do you think of it and would you buy it?"
The compliments flood in. People have told me that they love the speed it has. That it is the best looking display they have ever seen. They love the browser. One person commented on literally being blown away by the multitasking. Pretty much everyone said they would either buy it or strongly consider buy it if it was released right now. A few mentioned the bugs that do happen on a Dev Alpha, but they were understanding about them because it isn't finished yet. It was universally liked or LOVED by everyone I've ever let play with it.
Then I tell them it's a BlackBerry and remove the skin to show them the BlackBerry logo on the back. Immediately after, they all change their minds about the Dev Alpha. One women simply rolled her eyes at me and said "BlackBerry is worse than a dumb phone, no way would I ever own one". I pointed out to her that she just told me she loved it and she literally walked away from me in disgust without saying another word.
Not everyone I've done that to has been so rude about it, but they've all turned negative as soon as I told them it was a BlackBerry. Every single one of them. One person was kinda nice by saying "that's a really nice phone, but it's a BlackBerry" Most just repeat the same non sense we always here - BlackBerry is about to go bankrupt. They have no apps. Android is better.
I just find it really strange that people really liked a BlackBerry until they found out it was a BlackBerry. This negative sentiment is really going to hurt BlackBerry 10 if RIM doesn't do something to drastically change the opinions of the masses. Thoughts?
Last edited by berryboba; 09-20-12 at 09:01 AM.
- 09-20-12, 09:11 AM #3
The mobile sector is more about marketing than it ever has been before - HTC were commenting the other day, that their research shows that 70% of consumers know what phone they want before they walk into a store and because their marketing budget is tiny compared to Samsung and Apple they find it hard to compete.
RIM has an additional problem beyond having a small marketing budget, within first world countries (which is where BB10 is likely to launch first) they have a quite negative image as a company left behind or one that someone people expect to go bust next week - it's quite hard to recover from and their marketing people need to come up with something really smart.
Oh and for the remaining 30% who want to be convinced in the stores, RIM needs to have good incentives for carrier staff or consumers will simply be pushed towards whatever device the rep gets a good commission for.
- 09-20-12, 09:11 AM #4
It will come down to marketing. RIM needs to blow the bank on some wicked marketing. The negative RIM sentiment isn't that old so it's not like people grew up on Coke and won't switch to Pepsi. RIM has only been on the rocks for a couple of years at most. It shouldn't be that hard to swing the masses back in this direction.
- CrackBerry Abuser
09-20-12, 09:12 AM #5
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@berryboa: great experiment! It makes me excited too to hear their comments! But you highlight a big problem: the problem of branding. Like it or hate it, brand loyalty is a strong subconscious phenomenon that is everywhere, and its a big problem for Blackberry. It's not about calling anyone "stupid" or "blind", that doesn't help anyone (and very mature of you that you didn't!). But what may help is rebranding the image. That's the reason many companies "re-invent" themselves with new CEO's and new logos. I wonder if Blackberry sold the BB10 devices under a new logo and name (like simply "Research In Motion" or "RIM-blackberry") people would have an easier time sub-consciously removing their bias? What do you think @berryboa?
- 09-20-12, 09:48 AM #7
What a great experiment! I had the same idea as part of a marketing scheme. I'm deeply saddened about your results, though. In my mind the test subjects would always be deeply surprised but still have the same sentiment that it's an awesome phone and say something like "Well that's really shocking, but that's awesome. I'll definitely pick up one of these bad boys. This isn't like any BlackBerry I remember."
- 09-20-12, 10:39 AM #8
RIM needs to try something different with BlackBerry 10. I think they may end up advertising without BlackBerry mentioned. Just "Bold" or "Curve", etc. It will show the sizzle reel with all the cool stuff then at the end just "Be Bold" or "Light up the Torch".
The biggest take away from the posters comments is: everyone loved it, until they were told it was BlackBerry. That's how it needs to be advertised, show it off and just have a name. This will at least get people into the stores to take a look and let them decide for themselves. I would like to believe the reaction would be different if they could have tried the phone there and then bought it at that moment, instead of being told it's not available. Being told it's not available plays into the perception that BlackBerry is on the verge of destruction(which we know it isn't).
- CrackBerry Genius
09-20-12, 10:44 AM #9
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I don't think it's as bad as it sounds (although it is still very unfortunate). They were probably just surprised and defensive ("Oh god, that was a BlackBerry?!"). It's like feeding someone a piece of meat which they love, then tell them it's...I don't know, spider steak, and they flip out.
I suspect they'll eventually come around if BB10 launches succesfully and they see more and more people using them in public.
- 09-20-12, 10:54 AM #10
- 09-20-12, 10:55 AM #11
This poll absolutely falls in line with what people tell me when they see I have a BlackBerry, RIM can have the most awesome device on the market, but will be crippled by the current public perception of BlackBerry, RIM really needs to show the world that BB10 devices are a whole new game.
- 09-20-12, 10:57 AM #13
thats a really good experiment you have carried out.
it 1, proves the capabilities of the new upcoming device, and 2, shows the mass ignorance amongst the population... it is depressing.. but having proved its capability to a 'blind' audience, now is the time for RIM to use that and say.. it has changed completely... we can compete...
Sent from my BlackBerry 9900 using Tapatalk
- 09-20-12, 11:01 AM #14
- CrackBerry User
09-20-12, 11:02 AM #15
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@Beryboba... Not surprised at all too. Hope you don't feel like you lose your time, but at your place, I would. There is no need to Make that Kind of expriment to realize the convergency around a certain brand/type of product who sells better than others cause features that matters for only few years, due to one thing : marketing. With no bashing and no fights, can we ask ourselves what are the best selling arguments of the markets leaders, today ? Ridiculous processors, complicated screen name, Funny size, camera and apps. And we are talking about smartphones, not even computers. So what is the point to Make a compact, efficient and a smartphone-usage oriented product when just *wow* features (which should fit with a minority's needs, who have specific jobs or mobile usages) sell ?
- 09-20-12, 11:07 AM #16
This kind of reinforces my opinion that pre-orders should open before Christmas and offer a free PlayBook with every pre-order (Crazy Idea to Make Impact Before Christmas
By getting the software in enough people's hands, it will get the word out that the "old" BlackBerry is gone and under a period of significant change.
Imagine this scenario... I pre-order a BB10 phone (I already have a PlayBook - - obviously!), so I decide to give my free PlayBook to my friend as a Christmas gift. This friend doesn't have a tablet because they love Apple but can't afford to make the dive for an iPad. Initially, they'd be put off by the PlayBook because it's a BlackBerry; however, after coming to their senses they realize they've just been given a brand new tablet as a gift! They use the PlayBook and get to know the software.
Love it or hate it, they get to know the "new" BlackBerry. The only way to know if they'll like it is to try it out, and what better way to try it out than for free from a gift.
When BB10 launches, they have the proper background knowledge to make an informed decision, based not only on marketing, but also on personal usage and experience.
- 09-20-12, 11:24 AM #17
If there was an Apple on the back, those same people would be calling the OS revolutionary and ground breaking. Most people eat up what the media is dishing out. Hopefully the media will be honest in their reviews of BB10(if it turns out to be a great product), but I can't see that ever happening, at least not in the US.
- 09-20-12, 11:31 AM #18
Great post, thanks yo the OP.
I also think that the brand should be reestablished and I think RIM should call for help from their celebrity users and launch a huge campaign on that basis ranging from movie stars such as L D. Caprio to sports player, they should be present in movies and series as well.
Sent from my BlackBerry 9900 using Tapatalk
To the poster that asked, yes this was all done in the US, but I encourage everyone with a Dev Alpha to try it for themselves.
I did it just for fun, I'm not surprised by the results and I wasn't overly pro BlackBerry or defensive with people. I did make it a point to repeat back the compliments people gave the Dev Alpha before they knew what it was. But I wasn't confrontational or trying to change anyone's mind.
Its a good bit of fun. I just wish I had a really small video camera and mic so I could film it.
- 09-20-12, 11:38 AM #20
You know to some extent, I bet those images will flashback in their head of what they experienced when playing with the BlackBerry on their current device.
If anything they could be cursing at their Apple, Droid, Windows or Android Phone thinking "man that BlackBerry blows the water out of multitasking on mine, hmm maybe I Should rethink my opinion on BlackBerry."
- 09-20-12, 11:42 AM #21
This is good stuff berryboba. I hope that RIM is doing such studies and is realizing that they have a hill to climb. If they are smart they will start the process NOW to change the negative image that the average consumer has. We are only looking at about 15 or 16 weeks to launch. Start now and build to launch with a new attitude from the consumers. The effort should be focused in the Americas but should be world wide. If the area is already pro BB it can only help rienforce the loyalty. So far there is a deafening silence out of Waterloo. Utube is not a proper ad blitz.
- CrackBerry Genius
09-20-12, 11:53 AM #22
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The OP has justified why RIM should contract out BB 10 to Samsung. Samsung needs a great experience to go with their multitude of phones, they also need to partner up with a company that has the OS that appeals to the masses. Imagine if you had presented this OS to the same group and told them it is the "one of two choices for Galaxy S IV", they would be all over it.
RIM would then be riding the coat-tails of Samsung, they would be selling a Blackberry with/without QWERTY and the famous OS that Samsung uses. By the time the media figure this out, RIM would have sold 100 million handsets. The problem, as pointed out here is the rebuilding of the brand in America. Partner up with Samsung for BB 10 and strike a deal with them for patent protection, and you have a huge winner. Both companies would support each other in terms of hardware, software and branding image.
Thanks for making this a bit clearer for me, I was wondering how RIM could come out of the gate with a winner and I believe it is in partnering with a company like Samsung in North America. In the end, it doesn't matter who starts the ball rolling as long as RIM ends up with their cache back. I would think that Apple would have a stroke if they saw Samsung and RIM partner up with a common OS and a patent portfolio to die for.
Last edited by morganplus8; 09-20-12 at 04:28 PM.
- 09-20-12, 12:29 PM #24
Berryboba very cool case study. Glad to hear that folks are digging the device. As for the after comments. My thoughts on BB 10 are that BB people are loyal and so on. But as others have stated they MUST find a way to develop new business ie. consumers. That woman that just walked away that's an example of perception. Hope it changes. Nice post.
- 09-20-12, 12:45 PM #25
I didnt read through all the comments but I think this could be a great marketing campaign.
A series of commercials showing real people being intrigued with the BB10 platform without ever saying that its a BlackBerry. Not showing the negative side of it of course. This could get the people curious about a product "without a brand". Then when the product is actually announced and release, the next series of commercials shows that the people were interacting and excited about a BlackBerry device - showing that BlackBerry has a product thats REALLY GOOD compared to the competition.
I can see it.
Sent from Bold 9930 #blackberrybychoice