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Blackberry assessment Expository Essay

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Updated: Apr 15th, 2019

BB buyers’ decision making process

Typically, the buyer decision making process is made up of five stages: need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post-purchase behavior. Initially, mobile phones could only call and send text messages but with time buyers needed a phone which could offer more salient features, sleek and more productive.

Due to the existence of numerous types of smart phones, buyers were provided with a variety of products to choose from. BB has a natural pool of customers but as expected, post-purchase outcomes show that while some people want its devices, others do not.

BlackBerry’s key factors of success

Research In Motion (RIM), the manufacturer of Blackberry phones, was among the first vendors to sell smart phones in the market thus they penetrated easily into the market. Since 2003, its subscribers have grown from 600,000 to over 50 million and its revenues grown tenfold.

This success can be attributed to the innovative product development that has created several hit brands. Also, Blackberry has cut a market niche as a business device, enabling the company to get hold of the corporate users and distinguishing itself from the rest of the market.[1]

Factors affecting consumer’s behavior

Consumer behavior attempts to evaluate and predict people’s actions in their buying process. A worrying market trend shows that people are shifting from the Blackberry to iPhone. This shift can be attributed to the change in consumer behavior which is influenced by these three factors; social, personal and psychological factors.

Psychological factors include; motivation, perception, learning, beliefs and attitudes. Apple motivates its buyers through innovative ideas and offering unique products. iPhone is more simple and reliable to use and consumers learn through its usage quick, unlike Blackberry which is quite complicated even in setting up an email. iPhone also offers more relevant applications. Blackberry is more of a serious phone which the mass market tends to shy away from.

Secondly, there are social factors which not only comprise reference groups and family functions but also class. iPhone is more of a consumer device, which everyone in a social group wants to have unlike Blackberry which is more of a business device. For instance, it is hard to find a child playing with a Blackberry, but you can find many using an iPhone.

Lastly, personal factors include; age and life cycle, occupation, economic situation, lifestyle, personality and self-concept. It seems Apple have found a following among the young fun-loving consumers, fortunately this is the largest market segment and iPhone suits them best.[2]

Recommendations BB’s business buying process

Research In Motion seems to be at the edge of a cliff, its natural market is soon saturating and many of its products buyers are opting for other smart phone models. The rate of growth in subscriber base looks like it has flattened out and more and of the sales mix is going to present users, or user replacement, rather than new users hence forcing it to cut down on its products/services, margins and prices to keep it sustainable.

To avoid the cliff, Research In Motion needs to focus on two tasks: keeping the customer base loyalty and adding close product categories. It seems Research In Motion has lost the ability to create compelling products thus it should give its products several fundamental and visionary advancements which will bring customer loyalty. Research In Motion should not be pursuing growth in the shadow of Apple. Instead, it should try to hold on to the existing clientele base, that is, the corporate clients by coming up with appealing corporate features.

Research In Motion should transform its development process to ensure proper design and integration in its platform. For instance, the company still holds onto Java and the Java Community Process which chains it with licensing restrictions. Many mobile application developers consider Blackberry difficult to develop and yet the end product is not compelling to the users.

Hence, developers earn little on Blackberry and this could be the reason as to the slow adoption of applications in its AppStore. The company should consider dumping its current Operating System therefore coming out of the legal restrictions that chains it.

The company needs a product vision that identifies a few new differentiators for its platform that will go along with the busy knowledge staff who are at the center of its installed base. Blackberry needs deeply built features which are well incorporated with the rest of the gadget such as conferencing and live document sharing. However, other vendors will try to imitate these features hence the company needs to hasten the development process and roll out other differentiators within two years.

Influences on business buyer behavior

Business buying behavior is the purchasing trends of an organization in acquiring raw materials for usage in production of its product. There are three factors that influence this buying behavior and they are; environmental, organizational, interpersonal as well as individual factors.

Environmental features such as economy, legal and technology alterations, competition as well as financial strategies usually influence organization purchasing behaviors. Organizational buyers are keener in observing and evaluating environmental factors which affect their going concern. Hence, Blackberry needs to understand environmental factors so as to operate in a more sustainable manner and avoid falling on the hands of competitors.

Organization level aspects comprise of company guidelines and systems as well as aims and measures. Blackberry’s sales department has to be attentive to understand how the purchase department is structured and participants in the department so as to ensure that that the buying process runs smoothly. Also many of the buying decisions are scientifically driven so as to go in line with the larger company objectives and policies.

. Interpersonal aspects include four major features which are; empathy, authority, persuasiveness and status. The business buying process involves several participants among them, gatekeepers, users, buyers, deciders and influencers. It is vital for the sales department to understand the quality exclusivity of numerous participants and it is also important to note that the buying decision conveys personnel of different departments.

Lastly, individual factors such as age, education, job position, culture, personality and risk attitudes also influence business buying decisions. Participants in the buying process have different individual traits and perceive opinions and decisions differently. The buying company needs to be considerate of all these so as to get the best bargain for its purchases. Geographical factors also affect buying behavior as culture varies from place to place and sales personnel need to familiarize with diverse cultures.[3]

Steps in designing a customer-driven marketing strategy for BlackBerry

A customer-driven marketing strategy starts with identifying which consumers to attend to and choosing on a value proposition that best suits the targeted consumers. In order to format an efficient customer-driven market strategy, Blackberry ought to follow the following key steps which are; market positioning, differentiation, segmentation and targeting.

Market segmentation: All computing platforms have an array of buyers who inertly are too numerous and too diverse in their needs and buying behaviors. Blackberry cannot please all buyers in the market or at least not all the potential buyers in the same manner. Considering how much turmoil there is in the smart phone market, Blackberry should identify market segments where it can build fruitful relationships with the potential customers. Research In Motion needs to divide its market into smaller groups of customers with unique needs, traits or behaviors and who need distinctive products or services that match them.

Market targeting: Over the years, Blackberry has been targeting its products to the corporate users by offering business related features on its phones. However, the company should use marketing research to spot similar demographic traits within its customers, for example, gender, occupation and social status. This will enable it develop a strategy that is efficient and effective.

Differentiation: Blackberry should not fall on the shadow of Apple; it needs to differentiate its market offering so as to create a brand name. It needs to come up with differential features that are not common with the competitors yet.

Positioning: Blackberry needs to position itself in a clear, unique and enviable place as compared to competing platforms in the minds of target customers. For example its positioning statement could be: “To busy mobile professionals who need to always be in the loop, BlackBerry is a wireless connectivity solution that allows you to stay connected to data, people and resources while on the go, easily and reliably—more so than competing technologies.”

Bibliography

Michael, M, What’s really wrong with BlackBerry (and what to do about it), 2011, retrieved,

Morgan, M, Burden, K, Smartphone technologies and markets. ABI Research The Increasingly Connected Consumer: Connected Devices A look behind the growing popularity of iPads, Kindles and other devices. John Willey, New York, 2010.

Munnukka, J., et al, The Value Drivers of High-Tech Consumer Products. Journal of Marketing Management, 27:5-6, 2010, 582-601. www.mobileopportunity.blogspot.com

Footnotes

  1. M, Morgan, K, Burden.,. Smart phone technologies and markets. ABI Research The Increasingly Connected Consumer: Connected Devices A look behind the growing popularity of iPads, Kindles and other devices. John Willey, New York, 2010.
  2. J., Munnukka, et al. The Value Drivers of High-Tech Consumer Products. Journal of Marketing Management, 27:5-6, 2010, 582-601.
  3. M., Michael , What’s really wrong with BlackBerry (and what to do about it), 2011, retrieved
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IvyPanda. 2019. "Blackberry assessment." April 15, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/blackberry-assessment/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Blackberry assessment'. 15 April.

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