The BlackBerry brand took a beating this year according to 2012 BrandZ survey

By Kevin Michaluk on 23 May 2012 03:39 pm EDT

For the past few years we've been blogging about the results of the annual Milward Brown BrandZ survey, which through magic and voodoo and (we're assuming some science since they apparently conducted 2 million interviews), places a value and rank on the world's top brands.

The BlackBerry brand has faired pretty well in previous years. In 2009 BlackBerry ranked #16 on the Top 100. And we're talking Top 100 of all companies and brands here, not just in the tech category. In 2010 the BlackBerry brand climbed up to #14 on the Top 100. 2011 saw a drop to the #25, which arguably was still pretty awesome.

We all know BlackBerry has taken it's fair share of beatings over the past year, especially in the USA, so I expected to see the BlackBerry brand drop down the list this year. What I wasn't so sure on would be how much. Maybe #50? Maybe #75? With the 2012 report now available for download, it's no longer something to think about.

According to the Brandz survey for 2012, BlackBerry is off the Top 100 list altogether, and on the Tech Category list dropped to position 20 (we're guessing they must be ranking close to 101 on the list). The report says the value of the brand dropped 75%, down to just over $6 Billion from $24.6 billion a year before. That's a big drop. Bigger than I expected.

End of the day, I'm not sure the results mean that much for BlackBerry. There's brand value and then there's brand awareness. With 77 million subscribers and BlackBerry a household name, even though the value may have taken a hit this year I think awareness of the BlackBerry brand is at an all time high. And awareness equals the ability to impact value very quickly. This is why we saw the brand drop in value a lot in 2012. BlackBerry fell behind and quickly got punished. And it's why I predict we'll see BlackBerry climb way up the list next year, after we see a successful launch of BlackBerry 10. Let's getter done!

Reader comments

The BlackBerry brand took a beating this year according to 2012 BrandZ survey


From what I have seen about Blackberry 10. I am rather impressed. Blackberry 10 & PlayBook, sick combination boy!! Its got people here in Atlanta, GA talking... Friend in DC, capitol hill said those boys ready to see innovation from RIM! All eyes on you RIM!!

Go RIM indeed...

Due to the situation, RIM is the only company being forced to work at its craft. Right now I feel the big two are coasting on the popularity and what they have while RIM is buying company after company to build something truly amazing, and are getting nothing but criticism along the way.

BB 10 is going to smash things up and really open eyes. At this point RIM can create a significantly better device than the competition and they still will take negativity from it.. its a long crawl back and we are getting there.

Did you read the whole thing?? He clearly said that at least with brand awareness whether good or bad that rim has the opportunity to change that

can't have it both ways. If Blackberry had stayed in the top 25, everyone here would be saying how great it is. Sad reality is that Blackberry is going the same direction as K-Mart or Montgomery Wards.

No question, you have a point. Had these survey results been good we would have been shouting them from the rooftops.

As for the K-Mart/Monkey Ward analogy, there are still a lot of talented people at RIM who stand a chance of turning things around.

If there's an upside at all, it's that RIM can reinvent the Blackberry brand with a clean sheet.

Hey, remember K Mart filed bankruptcy, trimmed dead weight and moved around some assets and then bought sears Roebuck like 2 years later. So it may not be that bad :)

Another Crappy story from the U.S...... Please find me a story in Europe or South America thats just like this.... ITS NOT ALL ABOUT THE U.S.... alot of Americans don't relies that the rest of the world out numbers America and these stories don't make sense

Thats a ballsy statement taking into consideration no one knows what BB10 has to offer or even if it will be competitive at all. Hope it's the BB enthusiasts best friend.

I wouldn't say "no one knows". I'm pretty sure Thorsten HEINS and a few others at RIM, some people at the major telecom companies, Kevin, some manufacturing plant workers in China/Mexico/etc and a few select others know already.

But hey maybe you are right. Maybe "no one" knows and we will ALL (even HEINS) will be surprised !!!

Wait... don't take this the wrong way but if you talk about the RIMpire - doesn't it have the same sordid sexual meaning as it does in the UK?

As quoted from Zombieland:
"It's time to nut up or shut up" :)
The world wants to see RIM start kicking some a$$ and as Kevin has said many times, everyone loves a comeback story.

shipping phones for 3 y with bad touchscreens, dated software, unpolished apps, past generation cpu, no front camera

throw in bad advertising


Blackberry has went downhill ever since the Storm was released. Stick to 1 form factor RIM - Bold style. Or if you do another one - make it similar to the Torch/Blade slider. Sick of seeing like all these phones with minor differences, ie curve, pearl, bold 9790, bold 9900, enough already.

Excited to see the Blackberry 10 next year too. I say next year because I know how RIM works and they never come through on deadlines.

Ahhhh... the BlackBerry Storm. An era I like to call the "Sh*tstorm". Totally agree on the form factors, it needs to be simplified and also the naming conventions as well. Not an easy task but for example. The Bold 9900 should be the 9900 regardless if it's on a CDMA or GSM carrier. Similar to how the iPhone is an iPhone on all carriers but if you look in the phone's "About" section, you'll see it's serial number which determines whether it's CDMA or GSM.

To be fair, the average consumer (NOT the crackberry reader or engaged mobile community at large) is pretty much unaware of the model. They know they're getting a Bold, a Pearl, a Style, a Torch, etc.

And (sans irony) in Canada, the Netherlands, the UK, South Africa, Ghana, the whole of the Middle East, most of Latin America, Indonesia, Malaysia, India....

BlackBerry is a rapidly growing brand here in the Philippines now. A lot of people can say that Asia can be a smaller market compared to other parts of the world and there's a grain of truth in that. Most people here don't need the latest and "greatest" devices out today and possibly outdated in 3 months time. But the large carriers have now pumped up BlackBerry advertising and plans. And people are responding very well. I'm happy that people now are getting high on the BlackBerry buzz! 2 of my friends just converted 2 wks ago from feature phones. Baby steps. I asked them why, they said it felt the Blackberry made more sense for communication and can keep credit cards secure. That's a great reputation creating sales for the brand. Not a lot here follow tech sites and blogs as well. A lot are just working class people who want dependable communication tools. Most people here in the Philippines stick to what works best and for a country who messages a lot, Blackberry has a hungry market. I even try to do my part. I keep myself current with the Bb devices so whenever I switch, I give my other device to my friends who don't have Berries yet and explain to them the feature and advantages. I even encouraged some to get the Playbook. It's a long, hard uphill battle for RIM but I believe BB10 can be a welcomed refreshing change that can uplift the BlackBerry brand. I also believe, though can be largely affected by misguided "journalism" and bashing from trolls, BB10 can still clearly make RIM sustainable. And reality of it is, for me at least, BB 10 is a great first step for RIM's evolution and since it's just the first step, i see nothing but improvements of the platform in the future. It can be a really great learning, and hopefully financially rewarding experience for RIM much like Apple with Iphone 1 and 2.

RIM people are hard at work and we gotta rally behind them coz they made believers of us before, they may have failed some or most but I believe they can still make us RIM faithfuls once again.

I've been to the Philippines twice and can definitely confirm this, BlackBerry is on a tear over there. I think the biggest reason is because it's the texting capital of the world, lol. Never have I seen so much communication through text. Lots of working class people and they just want to get stuff done, they're not "hyped" over the iPhone and others like it at all.

What the report indicates is that the brand is tarnished. Relative brand value declines when public perception is negative, or when the brand has been seen to follow a damaging trend. I tend to think negative public perception is the main issue, as other smartphone makers have moved towards what are seen as reference designs. A smartphone is now expected to have a large flat screen and touch control interface. Despite that I like the keyboard on my 9650, it is tough not to consider the look of it as terribly dated, even though it works quite well. At one time not long ago many mobile phones were flip phones, and now those are rarely seen in the wild. Times are changing. RiM will need to launch a very large ad campaign to launch BB10 phones. I just really hope AT&T don't F-up everything with an exclusive; I really want to see the device launch on multiple carriers.

BlackBerry is awesome.
BBX will be awesome.
All the naysayers can line up to crap on BB...
TOMORROW they will all be saying, "I knew it all along! ".
We're not dead...
We're only sleeping.
Oh, Fratboy,
Go to Nigeria.
Tell them they're not important...

Kevin writes: "I think awareness of the Blackberry brand is at an all time high ".
Yes , but for the wrong reason.

RIM may have already missed the boar, and when BB10 devices start to ship, they will be in a tough time, with the lauch of the iPhone 5 occuring at about the same time. For all of those saysing that BBX will kick ass, how great it is, etc.( unless you have one of the BB10 developer units), you are hoping/speculating on how great it will be on the basis of blog posts and announcements designed to make BB10 look good. It remains to be seen if the BB10 device will be out on time; RIM's abitlity to keep to a schedule is questionable, and how stable/feature complete it will be when it does launch.

There were just 2 major recent announcements in tHe Android camp (the HTC One X/S/V, and the Samsung Galaxy SIII0, with a couple of major anouncements still penidng (Motorola RAZR HD, and the Sony Xperia GX/SX, along with the next Google Nexus phone unit(s)), along with a raft of new players using Adroid (Panasonic, Toshiba, Lenovo, etc.)

I also don't know if RIM has enough resources to continue if the BB10 device launch slips. I am surprised that the BB7 devices are selling at all, to be honest. They will be, for all intents and purposes, obsolete the day that the BB10 units ship. With all of the news concerning BB10, any of the tech oriented people won't be buying a BB7 devices (waiting for BB10 devices), and will infuence others to also stay away from BB7 as well, and many of these folks are asked to help choose, or guide people, in the next cell phone purchase.

I will grant that the Playbook, with the latest OS upgrades, has become a useful tablet, is well built, and has a great form factor,(I really do like mine, a lot), and has a good, flexible, and very capable OS. Reality is though, that it is sorely lacking in applicaiotns, and if the rumored iPad mini (7-8 inch form factor) does come out, at $299-$399, it will be game over, as the iPad mini will be able to run all of the existing iPad and iPhone apps.

I certainly hope RIM can bounce back with BB10. It's bad enough as it is, and it's disappointing to note since they've released some AWESOME devices the past few months. (9900 especially) I think there's still a chance if RIM plays its cards right with the next releases. Highly anticipating BBX! (I just hope for a keyboard to come with the touchscreen). Other than that, I sure hope RIM can catch up, and hopefully, trump or be on par with the sales of iPhone, although I choose not to expect.

BlackBerry forever! RIM for the win!

I'm in full support of RIM in 2012.