Rory O’Neill, BlackBerry’s EMEA vice president of marketing, told Marketing Week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that the company is working on a number of projects to coincide with the launch of its next generation of smartphones, to make the brand “more visible” about what it stands for.
“Our marketing going forward will tell the story of what the BlackBerry experience is all about: we are a brand that stands for action, people create things on BlackBerry devices that make things happen,” he said.
Mobile marketing will be a “huge” component of the BB10 launch campaign, to help reach its 75 million existing customers as well as looking to acquire new users.
O’Neill said: “Mobile marketing has the danger of being intrusive but people subscribe to services they find useful so you will see more of that [service-based] marketing from us so that users can engage with the brand wherever they are.”
BlackBerry will also utilise its social media presence, particularly its Facebook page that has more than 10 million fans, to help users create and share their BlackBerry stories.
“We recognise we may not have the deep pockets of some of our competitors so we have to be a bit sharper with our marketing – which we’ve always been historically.
BlackBerry is a fascinating brand and we’ve grown virally in many markets based on just delivering that promise of products that help people create and share,” O’Neill said.
As well as preparing for the launch of BB10, BlackBerry is also focusing on delivering mobile commerce services, having dubbed 2012 as the year NFC (Near Field Communications) will become mainstream.
O’Neill said mobile commerce continues the BlackBerry marketing story of the brand helping consumers to create and share experiences and offers partner brands more opportunities to get closer to their consumers.
He added: “Mobile commerce is beyond the mobile wallet and there is a tremendous opportunity for brands to go beyond the buyer/supplier relationship. Brands can now have a holistic view of the customer and serve them in an entirely new way, offering rich context based experiences.”
The RIM-owned company endured a tumultuous 2011, which included a global service outage in October that rocked its brand reputation and deterred consumers from buying new BlackBerry devices, such as its PlayBook tablet, which had only a fraction of rival Apple’s iPad shipments in the year.
In January BlackBerry’s co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie stepped down and a new leadership team is in place to lead the company’s “customer focused” turnaround strategy.