Frank Boulben has been the CMO at RIM for just around six months now. He's had a tough job to do getting the BlackBerry brand back on top, but has taken huge strides the last few months leading up to BlackBerry 10. Kevin had a chance to sit down with Frank back in July as he explained his plan for marketing BB10, and he seems to have stuck with it. His big priority was to get the launch of BlackBerry 10 right and so far he's stood by that. Frank has a great drive for rebuilding the BlackBerry brand and making BlackBerry 10 a great success.
When asked what's needed to "overhaul the BlackBerry brand", Frank notes that it all starts with the customer. "We need to be absolutely clear about which customers we intend to serve, and why we are going to serve them better than the competition". The BlackBerry people are about getting things done, being hyper-connected and being multitaskers. "They want to do on their smartphone what you do at your desk".
BlackBerry 10 has been optimized to answer these needs "better than any smartphone out there", but changing the perception of BlackBerry is also needed. While Frank says there is still brand loyalty, he knows that BlackBerry 10 needs to be huge to bring back potential customers. A big part of the marketing strategy is showing rather than telling. RIM has been out in full force showing off BlackBerry 10 devices face-to-face with celebrities and media to help spread the experience and get the word out. "You see the sentiment about BlackBerry 10 building very positiviely everywhere".
The challenge of getting consumers to use BlackBerry 10 and help build the buzz begins with showing off the new devices, then moves to things like digital marketing and social media. This includes online videos for big features like the new BlackBerry keyboard and BlackBerry Hub - amplified versions of what is being shown in face-to-face meetings.
Frank also says a huge part of BlackBerry 10 is BlackBerry Balance (it's pretty awesome). It eliminates the need for two devices and also allows users freedom to use personal and work items easily on one device. "We are the only one with such an elegant way of managing both sides of your life". Part of the campaign is not only showing, but also educating users on just what can be done on the new software.
As we hit the final weeks before the BlackBerry 10 launch, Frank says we'll see advertising that puts the "product experience" of BlackBerry 10 at the core. He notes that RIM is true to their "BlackBerry DNA" but will take things to the next level with BlackBerry 10. "To be participating in what could be the greatest comeback in tech history is very appealing".