RIM’s BlackBerry: Failure to Communicate
When apple unveiled its new tablet device I pad people welcomed it and a fantastic innovation, then even made it the gadget of the year, Steve Jobs in his words described the I pad “truly magical and revolutionary product,” something “and “unbelievably great.”
But when Jim Balsille the co CEO of Research in Motion introduced the Playbook his company’s answer to the I pad Balsille spoke something that not many understood. On the technical level the playbook seems better than the I pad, Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum wrote that its technical features appear “to outperform competing device hardware on nearly every metric. But the problem lies in selling and people adapting it, if RIM cannot sell it then it would not really matter if the device is technically better than Apple’s I pad.
Competing with Apple gets tough and the reason it gets tough because Apple relies on innovation and comes out with a device that is not available in the market and this is exactly what people want, something that is not available. And with Apple fantastic marketing and awareness it is comparatively easy for them to get the customers adapted to their products.
RIM is also good at innovation and can be seen with products such as the Black Berry which is the No 1 smart phone in a lot of countries, but RIM has been slow to the marketing game. The first BlackBerry TV ad ran in 2008, nine years after the product was launched, when it was already racking up sales of more than $6 billion a year. (Sales hit almost $15 billion in the year that ended Feb. 27.)
They also lacked a full time Chief Financial officer for 2 years until their Chief accounting officer was appointed for the job. Most of the companies falter because they get locked into a system that has worked for them for quite a while when everything else outside is fast moving and changing. Just having a technological edge is not enough it is how you pass on the message or communicate the technology to your customers.