1. W Hoa's Avatar
    BlackBerry's Secret Weapon: Women

    The two most significant words that BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said during the company's big launch event this week may not have been "BlackBerry 10," but rather "working moms."

    Sometime between unveiling the two new BlackBerry 10 smartphones that had already leaked weeks before and announcing that Research In Motion would finally change its name to BlackBerry, Heins revealed that the company wants to expand beyond those who work in a corporate setting and appeal to "artists, working moms, hundred-meter sprinters, you name it." Yet, it was the second group on that list that proved to be a focus of the event.

    Heins talked about women multiple times during the event and drove the point home by announcing that singer Alicia Keys would serve as the company's global creative director. "I'm definitely going to start with other super women who also love BlackBerry — a big demographic for BlackBerry," Keys said on stage.

    BlackBerry's decision to go after women may be surprising at first blush. Keys put it best during an interview later with USA Today. "When I think of BlackBerry I think of a more male-dominated space," she said. "But knowing how much the [female] demographic is growing and moving, there needs to be that attention there."

    Yet, according to BlackBerry's chief marketing officer Frank Boulben, BlackBerry is anything but "male-dominated."

    As it turns out, the majority of BlackBerry's 80 million global customers right now — 56% — are women.

    As it turns out, the majority of BlackBerry's 80 million global customers right now — 56% — are women.

    "We entered the market through the corporate side that is male dominated, like finance, and probably that perception has remained, and we haven't done anything in marketing to change it really," Boulben told Mashable in an interview.

    While the company was working on BlackBerry 10, its marketing team set out to identify the segment it most wanted to focus on, and ran down a list of traits: people of action, achievers, multi-taskers, people who are very connected and "want a tool more than a toy." In the end, Boulben says the team found these traits tended to be "slightly more skewed to women than men."

    With these two points in mind, Boulben says BlackBerry decided to re-think its marketing approach to avoid coming off as "too male-oriented."

    Getting Keys involved is the company's first significant step towards that goal. Boulben describes Keys as being the embodiment of a "very typical BlackBerry user" who is a "working mom" and runs a small business. Keys' role at the company will be broadly to engage with fans, but she won't be appearing in traditional product endorsements.

    Boulben wouldn't offer up any details about possible ads that BlackBerry might air in the future to appeal to women, but he noted that the company's marketing campaign will be focused on "real-life use cases." Beyond that, he says BlackBerry may introduce more apps and accessories that are geared towards women.

    Other smartphone and tablet makers have made efforts in recent months to market specifically to women. Microsoft, for example, brought on singer Gwen Stefani and actress Jessica Alba as spokeswomen late last year for the Windows phone. The spots position the two women as working mothers and are clearly intended to appeal to that audience. Likewise, Apple has been placing print ads for the iPad mini in women's magazines including Women's Health and Marie Claire.

    However, if BlackBerry can already count some 45 million women as customers in spite of being perceived as a brand for men, targeting women more in the future could just prove to be the company's secret weapon for building up its user base.

    "Faced up against guys with significant market share, BlackBerry needs to find areas where it can make headway in. They can't compete broadly and they can't compete everywhere," said Stephen Baker, a VP of industry analysis for consumer technology at NPD. "If they think women is how they can do that, and it's a big enough segment and there's an opportunity there, then God bless them, they should go for that."
    02-01-13 01:17 PM
  2. bbinexile's Avatar
    makes sense really
    my anectodal experience is that Iphone is now for preteens and grandparents, Android is for "dudes" of all ages, Blackberry is for 'doers' and maybe this new demographic although targeting half the worlds population is not a niche strategy

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9900 using Tapatalk
    MoolahMitch likes this.
    02-01-13 01:28 PM
  3. FSeverino's Avatar
    so... people who need to save as much time as possible
    like thor has been saying since day 1...
    02-01-13 01:34 PM
  4. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    no comment ...
    BlackBerry's Secret Weapon: Women [article]-sweetheart.png
    02-01-13 02:50 PM
  5. FSeverino's Avatar
    no comment ...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    why not? it is a huge market, and a great 'in'
    02-01-13 04:42 PM

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