Rebranding and reposition are important terms in marketing and indicate the revival of a product that is losing profitability or concentration ratio over time due to internal weaknesses, such as low cash flow and profitability, or external forces, such as increased competition in the market. One firm that requires rebranding is BlackBerry, which peaked in 2013, before losing its strength in the market. The rebranding plan includes manufacturing of a new phone to target corporate consumers with strong communication capabilities and information management in a secure environment. The targeting process will include consumer demographics that meet the needs of the target market to regain its market share. However, the company will have to contend with the high level of competition from Android and Apple products. The company will use an effective marketing strategy to appeal to the customers by communicating the new message. The chosen communication channels are social media and conventional media to reach as many consumers as possible. The rebranded product will be marketed and distributed directly to customers to reduce the cost of distribution. The company will create a new strategy correcting the mistakes of the past, such having a different campaign for each region, to recapture its lost glory.
Rebranding and repositioning will play a critical role in reviving the market for BlackBerry, which was once a giant in the telecommunications market, but lost its prominence. BlackBerry is a brand consisting of smartphones and tablets, and related services. The brand was one of the most prominent in the global market and specialized in mobile productivity and secure communications. The brand peaked in September 2013, with 85 million subscribers globally before it started on a downward trend, falling to 23 million by March 2016 (Ornston). As a result, BlackBerry is among the mobile devices giants that have fallen from the initial glory (appendix 2 shows the downward trend of BlackBerry and how it lost its market position within a short perrid). Others include Nokia, which have lost their market share considerably and could have to make strategic decisions to regain their market strength. The rebranded smartphone, targeting corporate consumers is intended to change the fate of the company and helping it to recapture the lost market share. The new smartphone will target corporate strong communication capabilities and information management in a secure environment. Therefore, a critical market research is necessary to identify the needs and motivations of target customers and to understand effective strategies to counter the high level of competition in the mobile devices market.
Product Repositioning Statement
BlackBerry seeks to recapture the lost glory and market by improving its competitiveness. The rebranded BlackBerry promises to directly address the desires for success at work and in life by creating additional functionalities through app and software programs. The new brand promises all customers reliable, best-in-class mobile connectivity to achieve more in business. The product will give customers the power to do and achieve more through communication and information management capabilities. The product will have a reliable mobile connectivity that places the control in the hands of the customer to support their personal, education, and work needs for communication and connections. Whatever their interests are, customers will realize that the rebranded product can meet all their needs and support their operations in all areas of life. The new phone will serve the interests of all customers across the world by giving control over communication and information management over to them. The new product will be a platform for mobilizing businesses in all sectors around the world and provide a powerful solutions to communication needs in all organizations.
Product Category Market Profile
Segments. The company should establish the target market for its product with respect to competition and ensure that it gains an edge over rivals. The potential market for the brand is global in nature since it sells its products in all countries. Besides, it will have a range of products and services (such as smart phones and apps) to market to the different types of consumers around the world. The company will use its infrastructure for mobile phones (especially smartphones) to market to the global consumer base. However, the management should identity the consumer segment and sub-segments since it is impossible to sell to the entire global clientele. Market segmentation will also enable the company to market its products and services so effectively that they remain in the minds of the customers in the long-term (Wedel and Kamakura 34.). The target market for brand will be emerging business owners such as big corporate enterprises and start-ups since it can provide end to end solutions.
After rebranding, BlackBerry will market its products to companies in the information technology industry, health care sector, government and federal organizations, educational institutions, retail and sales industry, and military and the defense departments. The product will ensure effective information management in the organizations that deal with sensitive data and require high level information security measures. Blackberry’s USP is safety and security, meaning that it can meet the need of the target customers. Notably, the main focus for the company is not limited to communication, but the need to support data and information management objectives. It will enable the customers to create a niche for themselves and improve their competitive advantage. Furthermore, the rebranded company will provide apps and software solutions that can be customized to the needs of the client. To capitalize on potential future markets, the company can target educational institutions and general start-ups in the global market. For instance, the Corel Draw Graphics Suite, can support education in training designers. The company should now focus on organizations and institutions instead of individual customers. The segment will provide it with the required market potential to beat the current competition and regain its strong position. Besides, segmentation will allow it to target its resources to serving the needs of the target market.
The rebranded BlackBerry will be sold to B2B customers instead of individuals. The business to business model enables a company to market its products to other business organizations to support their operations (Pawłowski and Pastuszak 19). The new brand will focus on building its reputation. By refocusing on B2B. As a result it will compete better in an industry in which companies focus on the trendy, shiny-object products marketed to individual customers. The company will re-identify, re-find and then re-engage with the new audience to improve its returns on investment. Therefore, the firm will identify and sell its products to other businesses and organizations to achieve their business objectives. The firm seeks to provide solutions to business in regarding their communication and information management needs. The new brand will help companies to meet the needs of their customers, such as for information security, in turn, increasing the sales of BlackBerry products and services. The rebranding focuses on solving business needs to make BlackBerry more competitive than rivals in the telecommunications market.
Competition. The telecommunications industry is one of the most competitive in the world since many companies are manufacturing and marketing powerful devices for communication and information management to support personal and business usage. Therefore, the rebranded BlackBerry should be prepared for competition from companies producing communication devices, such as smart phones and tablets to market to the global clientele. Most of the company’s competitors are manufacturers of smart phones and tablets that use the android operating system, such as Huawei, Oppo, Samsung, and Tecno among others. Besides, the android operating system, Apple has created an intense completion in the telecommunications industry through its customized operating system, the iOS (Arzoglou et al. 24) Therefore, the rebranded BlackBerry should anticipate and come up with strategies to counter the competition and remain at the top in the industry for years by creating a lasting impression in the minds of customers. The management should analyze the market share of the competitors and creates the means to position itself in such a way that it will increase its current concentration ratio by beating the competition.
The mobile vendor market globally has remained highly competitive with many companies rivaling for the leading market share. The mobile vendor market share keeps changing as new companies enter the market and current ones rebrand to become more competitive and profitable. As of September 2020, Samsung held the leading market share in the market with a 30.58%. The second competitor in the market was Apple with 24.99%, followed by Huawei at 10.58% and Xiaomi at 9.47%. The fifth and sixth companies in the list were Oppo at 4.93% and Mobicel at 3.49% (see appendix 2) (Mobile Vendor Market Share Worldwide). Therefore, BlackBerry should understand the level of competition and implement mechanisms, such as marketing strategies, that will help it to gain a huge market share by competing effectively with the leading competitors in the market. Android and Apple have been the leading reasons for the company’s loss of its market share since 2006. The knowledge will help the rebranding process to establish ways to recapture the market from Apple and the Android providers, such as Samsung.
Trends. lackBerry’s marketing team should understand the trends that will make a difference between the success and failure of the rebranded product. One of the trends is artificial intelligence, which has found its way to the business world. Companies are seeking communication devices that will support collection and analysis of intelligence to inform their business (Calof and Wright 2; Grigori, et al., 321). Another important trend in the market is the need for information security. As businesses become dependent on big data, they desire an environment in which they will access and use it safely. Therefore, the device should have information security mechanisms towards this end. The big data trend will require devices with the ability to collect, process, and store big amounts of data. For example, a business will require a device that will keep vast number of photos, videos, and documents for reference as they operate. Since companies are generating high amounts of revenue from mobile apps, this is another trend that BlackBerry should consider in the rebranded device (see appendix 3 for revenue from mobile apps). The market is improving creating a huge potential for current and new brands of devices that support the apps.
Target Segment Consumer Behavior
The company should understand the characteristics of target consumers to sell to the right people and reposition the product effectively. The demographics of smartphone users are the unique characteristics or shared traits among individuals or groups that are most likely to purchase a phone (Kang et al. 532). Thus, the company’s marketing team should understand the unique traits within the target group that makes it the most suitable for the marketing activities. They should concentrate on factors, such as motivation and Values, personality and lifestyles, attitudes, decision making, group influences, cultural Influences, and situational influences. Each of the factor will affect the buying decision, meaning that the marketing team should understand and customize their marketing activities to the traits and customer needs. A market research is necessary to provide the information about the demographics of target customers. They will use the information to identify the consumer and what they are looking for in the product.
Motivation and Values. Consumer have motivation and values that determine their decision to purchase one gadget over another. For example, while one person is motivated by the size of the internal memory, others will be looking at the power of the camera and the quality of pictures it can take. Therefore, the BlackBerry marketing team should understand what motivates the target customers and how their product can meet their demands and interests. The motivation and values factor will determine whether the target consumers will purchase the rebranded product (Mowen 53). The target customer for the BlackBerry rebranded phone is a business person targeting to use the product for marketing and other business communications. The customer also wants a phone that will manage large volumes of data and ensure information security. Therefore, the ability to meet those need and to fulfill the values of the consumer will motivate them to buy the product.
Personality and Lifestyles. Smartphones have always played a role in supporting the personality and lifestyle of users. A certain group of people is always linked with a specific phone. Therefore, smartphone marketers should ensure that the products relates to the personality and lifestyle of the target consumer. For example, an affluent businessman will be attracted to a different gadget from a college student. Research suggests a critical relationship between personality and lifestyle with the type of smartphone a person is willing to pay for (Solomon et al. 35). The idea behind the factors is that marketer should ensure a deep understanding of the target consumers’ lifestyle and personality and bring them a product that align with the qualities. The BlackBerry targets organizations in the private and public sectors and will reflect the personality and lifestyle of corporate buyers. Marketers will also market the product focusing on its traits that will meet the needs of the customers, such as the additional apps, the new OS, and the large memory space and data security features.
Attitudes. The attitude of the buyer will determine whether or not they will purchase a product or service. Positive attitudinal responses are critical in marketing since they make a difference between a complete sale and goods remaining unsold. Cognitive dissonance theory suggests that consumers’ attitudes are determined by their orientations towards a product that is perceived as being able of meeting their needs (George and Edward 13). The BlackBerry marketing team should understand the attitudes of customers first before bringing the product to the market. Furthermore, when they bring the product to the market, they should strive to affect the attitude of the buyers. For their target market, consumers want a product that will meet their needs for communication and information management in a secure environment. Thus, they are most likely to have positive attitudes towards products that meet those needs than those which go short of their expectations. The marketers should focus on the strengths of the phone, such as its functionality to appeal to the target audience’s attitudes. Success in appealing to the attitudes of the target audience will create the lasting image in their minds and secure a long-term market for the rebranded product.
Decision-making. Decision-making in consumer behavior is another important factor that marketers should consider when rebranding and repositioning a product. BlackBerry’s marketers should understand the decision-making points and powers in their target corporate consumers (Solomon et al. 36). They should understand who the decision-makers are and what they want in a product, such as a new mobile device. For example, in an organization, the board might play a critical role in making the decision about acquiring a new device for communication and information management purposes. However, the decision-making power might differ from one company to another, which is critical information or marketers. Marketers should customize their marketing communication to appeal to the decision-makers to secure a strong market for the rebranded product. The strength of the device in the market will depend on the ability of the marketers to reach the right market with the rebranding statement and convince them regarding the strength of the new product.
Group Influences. Groups have the power to influence behavior, including the decision on what to purchase or avoid in the market. Social power is an important factor in groups, especially in terms of in- and out-groups (Schiffman and Kanuk 12). Members of the in-group can have a huge influence on the decision that others make. Marketers should understand the role of group influence when marketing or promoting their products. For example, members of an organization can influence others to buy a specific product, meaning that the ability to convince some members can attract others to the product. Therefore, when designing the new phone, marketers should consider the features that are likely to appeal to the group, such as the expanded functionality and the new operating system with information security features. Marketers should focus on the features with the maximum effect on consumer behavior to attract members of groups. When some members purchase the product and realize the new benefits, they will give positive reviews to attract others to purchase.
Cultural Influences. Besides group influences, marketers should also consider the cultural factors that are likely to attract consumers to the rebranded product. Consumer behavior is affected by social and cultural factors, which exist in an in-group. Culture is a critical determinant of an individual’s needs and behavior (Schiffman and Kanuk 12). For example, in an organization with a culture that takes into account information security and privacy, a phone that supports such features will appeal to such an environment. Therefore, the marketers should establish the cultural beliefs that are likely to affect the buying decision when designing and selling the rebranded product. They should also recognize that cultures have smaller subcultures or groups with members with common beliefs and value systems. Consumer behavior will depend on the value systems and beliefs. Focusing on the beliefs of the culture will help the marketer to appeal to all members, increasing the chances of gaining long-term consumers.
Situational Influences. Situational factors can also play a key role in the success of marketing activities. The situation is the state of events or environment within which the promotion, purchase, and use of the rebranded product occurs. For example, the BlackBerry marketing team targets corporate consumers for the rebranded smartphone. Thus, the team cannot succeed by selling to individuals due to the lack of the situational influence. For effective marketing, the company’s marketers should target organizations in different sectors to take advantage of the situational influence. Besides, if some company recognize the benefits of the rebranded product, they will easily influence others to integrate it in their communication strategy. The situation is necessary when creating the marketing strategy to ensure that the marketers reach and appeal to the right audience. Their marketing should also be targeted to ensure that they appeal to the objectives of a specific organization due to the situational influence.
Marketing Mix Recommendations
Product. The rebranding and repositioning strategy necessitates a new product that the company will market to its consumers to become more competitive and productive. The firm should position a new product to the market that will be so impressive that it remains in the minds of customers for a long time (Goi 2). The rebranding is dubbed “out with the old and in with the new” which means that although the company is existing, it will design a product that will make the brand desirable. The company will manufacture a smartphone with a new operating system and additional apps to appeal to corporate consumers. Since the firm wants to recapture the smartphone segment, it will provide a product that will leave a lasting impression in the minds of its customers. By creating a new smartphone that will be used in businesses and other organization, BlackBerry will be writing a new chapter in its corporate life. It will create a new look that will be marketed to the target customers to increase profitability. The rebranding involves the introduction of a new operating system into the market and introduction of new apps that will support business processes. The company hopes that the new OS and the apps will turn the company around in terms of competitiveness and profitability.
Price. The pricing strategy that the company intends to use is critical to position it well in the market and improve the chances of beating the current level of competition. The price of a product is the amount of money that a business offers in exchange to a product (Goi 2). In the course of rebranding, the company will ensure that it sells products to organizations and institutions at competitive prices. The most effective pricing strategy for the company is to create products, such as phones with more functionality and sell them at a manageable price. Basically, for greater functionality and services, consumers will be willing to pay the price for the product even if it is slightly higher than what competitors charge for similar products. Therefore, the rebranded product will have new and additional features, including apps and software programs to support B2B marketing strategy. The new target market and the increased functionality will support a new pricing strategy for the brand. Customers will be willing to pay more for better products and services.
Promotion. Promotion is one of the most important marketing function due to the need to create the image in the minds of the customers. In rebranding and repositioning, the marketer should strive to counter the flawed image of the product in the minds of the client (Goi 2). For example, many customers currently know BlackBerry as a failed brand. As a result, marketing should be intensive to change the perception and create a new image of success in the target audience’s mind. Therefore, the marketing team will focus on the new and strong features of the new product to counter the existing idea of the failed phone in the telecommunications market. Besides, they should use communication channels that will appeal to the target audience. They will integrate different channels in the extensive promotion strategy to reach as many target audiences as possible globally. For example, they will use social media and the conventional media, such as TV to increase the communication potential. The communication message should also be targeted and inform the audience about the differences between the failed and the new brand.
The promotion strategy should include achievable marketing communications objectives and clear goals regarding the new image that the marketing team desires to create in the minds of the audience. They should avoid all past mistakes, such as communicating the product in numerous brand languages. The company should also adopt a uniform marketing campaign for all consumers and in all countries to ensure efficiency in creating the new image. Instead of using different campaigns like it did in the past, the company could customize them, but with a clear uniform message for all the target markets globally. The consideration will help the new brand succeed in the modern highly interconnected world and to beat the current competition to gain a considerable market share. Getting the right message to the right audience will ensure the success of the company’s rebranded product.
The company will sell the rebranded product to corporate consumers around the world. Unlike other companies that compete with BlackBerry, the new product will not be marketed through retailers. Instead, marketers will market the product directly to corporate consumers, in the private and public sector. The firm will reduce the cost of operations and logistics by marketing and distributing the product directly to corporate customers. The distribution method will also enable the brand to have a close relationship with customers unlike would be the case when the firm involves numerous middlemen without direct contact with customers. As a result, they will trust in the brand and develop loyalty. Companies will order the product directly from the company and receive it through shipping services. Therefore, the firm will have efficient logistics and customer service to ensure that they meet the needs of customers fast and reliably. The firm could lose customers to competitors if it delays to dispatch and deliver the product to customers. The firm will also have open lines of communication to ensure that customers order and receive their goods at the shortest time possible. The customer service will also respond to customer queries fast and satisfactorily.
Rebranding and repositioning are among the most effective ways of changing the fate of a brand that experiences a decline due to internal or external factors. The business decisions givers a new leash of life to a dwindling or dying brand and repositions it in the minds of consumers with a lasting impact. The rebranded smartphone will improve communication and information management for corporate consumers due to the improved capability and information security features that designers have included. The product will compete against giants in the industry, such as Samsung and Apple. To become competitive, the company will provide to add value to consumers of the rebranded product by improving their user experience. The new product will target consumers who wants more from a smartphone, such as processing speed and memory space. The marketing team will use new media and the conventional media to market the product and position it in the minds of the consumer. They will market directly to consumers to reduce the cost of middlemen in the supply chain.
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- Define BlackBerry today
BlackBerry is a new brand in the market that strives to recover the lost glory.
- Why has the company decided to rebrand?
BlackBerry was once a powerful brand in the market and the management believes that it can return to the strong position in the market.
- What makes the brand different from the previous BlackBerry?
The new brand has an improved operating system and new functionalities, such as apps and information security features
- What changes should customers expect?
Customers should expected increase processing speed and larger internal memory, as well as an advanced OS
- Who is the target customers?
The new brand targets corporate consumers
- How will the consumer benefit from the rebranded product?
The product offers additional functionality to enhance communication and information management capability.
- What makes the company think it will compete effectively and improve its concentration ratio
BlackBerry will add value to corporate consumers through the expanded capability and functionality to make customers willing to pay more for the product.
- How will you market the new brand to customers?
The company will use new and conventional media to send the message of the new brand to target customers.
- What distribution channels will the new brand use?
The nee brand will be sold and distributed directly to customers.
- How do you rate the growth opportunity and potential for the new brand
By targeting the right consumer, the rebranded product has a high market potential