BlackBerry in India: Losing its Premium Image?

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG291
Case Length :16 Pages
Period :2010-2011
Pub Date : 2012
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization :Research In Motion
Industry : Smartphones
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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From 2010, BlackBerry focused on the BlackBerry India website and social media pages. The BlackBerry India fan page on Facebook had 900,000 fans. The India Twitter page allowed people to get updates on the brand and stay connected with the latest stuff.

Access to the India website from the mobile device also started in 2011. BlackBerry regularly came out with campaigns on the digital medium. Bawa believed that Indians were passionate about getting a job, getting married, and spending quality family time.

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Brand Communication

The BlackBerry brand had geared itself up in terms of aggressive communication. BlackBerry was no longer only about roping in high-profile consumers belonging to the upper social economic class. Rather, it was about reaching new consumer segments with affordable variants. BlackBerry came up with a campaign in 2010 in partnership with Vodafone and Orchard Advertising called "We are the BlackBerry Boys" . The Vodafone-BlackBerry advertisement started with the image of a few suit-clad men claiming to be cool because they used BlackBerry. But soon a bunch of youngsters join the gang and start singing about chatting and surfing. BlackBerry had always been seen as being for the big boys, the boys in suits, or, as the ad put it, the BlackBerry boys...

The Road Ahead

A senior RIM official indicated that in the December 2009-February 2010 quarter, the company had witnessed a never-before trend where the share of retail customers had shot up to 80% of total sales. In particular among these sales, major sales happened in only low-end smartphones. As per Cyber Media Research , RIM had a 13% share of India's smartphone market in 2010, up from 8% in 2009. Bawa said, "The smartphone market in India is growing at 110% and we are growing faster than the industry. We expect to maintain the growth trajectory in India through innovative efforts by bringing relevance to both our existing and prospective customers."...


Exhibit I: RIM and BlackBerry: A Timeline
Exhibit II: Market Share and Revenues of Leading Mobile Handset Manufacturers in India
Exhibit III(A): The Top 10 Mobile Phone Players in India (2010-11)
Exhibit III(B):Smartphones Prices in India (December 2011)
Exhibit IV: BlackBerry Brands Available in India
Exhibit V: BlackBerry India's Facebook Page
Exhibit VI: Some BlackBerry Print Ads in India
Exhibit VI:Lyrics of the Vodafone 'BlackBerry Boys' Ad

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