BlackBerry: From Lovemark to Commodity
From dominating the smartphone market, BlackBerry sales have fallen 41% in the last quarter. Its once loyal community of fans have fallen out of love with their BBs and what was once a Lovemark is now looking very much like a commodity. Low Respect. Low Love. What happened? An article in the Los Angeles Times gives us some insight:
After eight years and six BlackBerry models, Ourfa Coco Zinali, 23, said she’d had enough of her phone’s frequent shutdowns and frozen screen, poor battery life, lack of apps and slow browser speed. After nearly all of her friends ditched their BlackBerrys for other devices, there were fewer people to connect with through the BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging application, rendering one of the phone’s most popular features useless.
Her latest BlackBerry, a Bold 9700, broke down so often that Zinali said she replaced it nine times before giving up. Last week the Van Nuys resident went to the Apple store at Northridge Fashion Center, where she bought a white iPhone 4S.
“I took it home and I couldn’t take my hands off of it. There’s so much to do on there, and it’s so fast. Already, I would never, ever go back to BlackBerry,” she said.
“It was like a relationship: Yeah, I loved you and we had a good time, but I’ve moved on.”
What happens when a Lovemark makes the descent from being a brand that people can’t live without, to one that they merely tolerate? Here are three insights:
Build on Respect
Zinali’s story clearly shows that the first step towards Love is Respect – which is created through Performance, Trust and Reputation.
People who are loyal to brands will stand by their Lovemarks through thick and thin only if trust is sustained. Without the belief that a brand will deliver on their promise, love will fade. In theLovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution, Kevin Roberts writes that to get close to the consumer brands must ‘Share the Pleasure, Suck Up the Pain’. When things go wrong with a product, brands should not expect the consumer to suffer alongside them whilst the competition strides by with the latest in innovation and customer service. The goal of a Lovemark is to deliver more than the customer could imagine.
Move from New to Now
Consumer expectations of product performance has changed dramatically in the Age of Now. A Lovemark is something connects you to the people and things you love. Moving from one device to another seamlessly, the ability to share content and connect with others are table stakes. We see proof of this in the growth of branded experiences and product extensions that create the opportunity for digital and physical connection. To be a Lovemark requires a brand to move from NEW to NOW.