International Branding : The Unfortunate Miscommunication Of The Blackberry PlayBook


April 6 was my birthday, so to celebrate, I got myself a much needed gadget, The BlackBerry Playbook. I have always had my eye on an Ipad, but they are too expensive, and was never really convinced that these much coveted items are perfect for business. As all of you know, I am a fashion designer, working internationally, as well as domestically with individuals or start-ups that aspire to create commercially viable apparel/accessories product lines. That being said, I needed a wonderful electronic medium where as I can conduct presentations, keep in touch with established clients,etc. I was never to sure that an Ipad was right for my “business persona”, as I was NOT about to take seriously the same electronic gadget that teen girls text message their daily ‘goings-ons’.

I strolled into my nearby RadioShack, and there, like the holy grail, was my new ‘business persona’, I quickly purchased my new business partner, and have been happier then a “kid in a candy store” since then. The Blackberry Playbook is sleek, with so much functions then , more than my phone, it  even ‘tethers’ to my phone, so my contacts are not lost. Basically, this little marvel that fits comfortably my hands is in it self, a marvel. There a decent sized application store, NOTHING like the Google backed android store, but many decent applications that are great for business. As I researched on line how to streamline my new ‘electronic existence’, I slowly began to notice something, the Blackberry Playbook was being trashed my many app developers , Ipod devotees for its few shortcomings. Instantly my ” Branding Cap” was on my head, and I suddenly saw sleek, wonderful advertisements illustrating how the Blackberry Playbook is the “Ipad for business people”,(of course they can’t say as of such, but you get my point). I envisioned a sleek premier of Blackberry Playbook first television advertisement:

Business man is in meeting, he appears to be a CEO. He is conducting this meeting with power and authority, as many of his business colleagues look on, raptured by his every word. New scene begins with him now at his desk, in his lavish office, secretary brings in a cup of tea. On his desk, amongst his many documents, is the “holy grail of business communication in tablet form”,…the Blackberry Playbook. Next scene is in his limo, camera pans to him loosening his tie, getting relaxed as he has a drink,…he grabs his Blackberry Playbook,…and starts to play Angry Birds,.( funny huh!!!!!LOLZZZZ!!!!) ..Camera pans out: end of commercial. I envision sleek elegant music like Beethoven Symphony 9 in D minor for the business meeting scene, Beethoven symphony 3/4/1 “Eroica for the scene of him relaxing with a game of “Angry Birds”.

oh,…it does not stop there, my mind is a “Branding Machine”

Advertisement 2:  Young Business woman, lovely smartly dressed, in what seems to be a design office. She is conducting meetings with her designs staff : / Music during these scenes: Bach, Brandenburg Concerto #3, First Movement, Allegro/ Camera moves in  on her hands, her motions,eyes, as she conducts this design meeting. Scene Ends. She is back in her hotel room: camera watches as she walks, drops her hand bag and briefcase. She grabs her Blackberry Playbook, and there is her daughter and husband, she is having a video conference with, two of the most important people in her life, her family/ Scene ends.

You want more Blackberry, pay me,….enough said

There many different ways that Blackberry Corp.( RIM-Research in Motion)  could FORMALLY introduce this wonderful machine. I have read in many forums over the weekend that people that are accustomed to Ipod-Android store and applications, are frustrated with the Blackberry Playbook they have purchased. This screams for a decisive Branding / Ad campaign that has the public to understand that Blackberry has been known as  around the world by BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS, FOR ITS STELLER SECURITY,and anyone that wants SECURE communications.  The Blackberry Playbook, is simply a wonderful addition to this fabulous reputation, being the MOST secure tablet based product on the market. Blackberry is trying desperately to save what will end up being a very bad venture into touch screen technology. It has come to my attention that the corporation is even considering “bridging” android apps and developers, offering “side-loading” as to make android apps easier to upload to the Blackberry Playbook, in my opinion, this is very DESPERATE!!!.  (Read this article for more info ). Let me explain, I understand Blackberry efforts to “mingle” with apps and developers, as to be able to compete with Ipad and other devices that utilize Android Apps,…….but Blackberry is not an Ipad or any of these devices, and has a much a much more distinguished legacy than any of these “fly by night” electronic devices. Who ever is conducting the PR concerning this product,….Blackberry, fire them and get your money back, and hire me! Your wonderful product is missing its mark, and doing so HORRIBLY, as the world watches. When Ipads where first introduced to the market, there was a magnificent international branding campaign, introducing this unique product to the buying public. Blackberry, you can not be this arrogant to feel that your reputation alone, is going to have these pads ‘fly out the stores’,…time for re branding – re imaging that is product is young,new and fun, but not loosing  your core demographic, the business community that has supported your products for so long. Shape up Blackberry, as a branding professional, I got my eye on you. When I was a young ‘design fledgling’, I remember when all the CEO’s and executives of the companies I worked for had Blackberry’s. In their secretive meetings, thumbing away on those small plastic personifications of status and business success. When I rose up in the ranks concerning my career, I specifically held off on buying a Blackberry, as I wanted a salary,a prestige that went along with this much coveted phone. I will never forget when I got my first Blackberry, in my office. I remember opening the box with baited breath. I was one of the “big boys”, and my Blackberry portrayed my new status and position in the fashion world. Blackberry needs to reclaim their throne, and an exciting branding campaign portraying luxury ,prestige,and the irony of fun  in such rarefied executive environments  is a great direction.

About Seaki Fashion Designer / Illustrator

Seaki Nelson is owner and founder of Seaki Creative Services, a freelance design company based out of NYC. With over 19 years in the international fashion community, Seaki is a fashion industry veteran, working with companies such as , such as Calvin Klien, Baby Phat,Phat Farm,Sean John,Marithe Francious Girbaud, Tommy Hilfiger to name a few. His enormous product design talent, and eye for detail and trend-spotting has garnered Seaki a dedicated following of some of the world's most powerful fashion industry professionals. Thank you for your support Thank You :)

4 responses »

  1. Well Said!!!! I really enjoyed your post!!! Very refreshing to see this and to hear how happy you are with the greatest tablet ever made (yes it is my opinion)!!

    Great Job, Nice Post!!!

  2. Well said. This echoes my sentiments on RIM’s marketing campaign for this tablet. The reason why I bought my Playbook is because I am already a Blackberry fan, and have used BB smartphones for a long time. However I don’t see how a non blackberry person (so to speak) can go out and buy one, given that I’ve seen so little information about it in the media or elsewhere. RIM needs to take a leaf out of Apples Marketing/PR playbook. In fact it is so easy to market this tablet, so much so that RIM didn’t feel any need to put effort into it. I am a Research Fellow at a University in South Africa, and after seeing me use my playbook 3 of my colleagues have also got theirs. If RiM could invest a little more in marketing they could push this tablet to the top.

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