Photos of BlackBerry’s new offering, the BlackBerry Z10, are trickling out and the phone looks good. Aesthetically, it is the strongest showing BlackBerry has ever made. But it will take more than good looks to make the new phone a success.
What BlackBerry really needs is a resurgence of its brand.
BlackBerry has encountered numerous hurdles in the past few years. One of the most recent was its unfortunate foray into the tablet market. That move was hindered by a tired brand that was associated with antiquated technology. The failure of the tablet reinforced BlackBerry’s decline in relevance.
Consumer expectations are high in the smartphone market. The product must look good, its operating system must be intuitive, and the carrier must support it. These are the mere table stakes, the ingredients necessary to introduce a product to the market.
A strong brand is what makes a successful product.
The Z10 is a substantial change in design for BlackBerry and the new BlackBerry 10 operating system offers a new user experience. The next step is to define the BlackBerry user. Once upon a time, that consumer was a businessperson. The iPhone has taken that market share away, but Apple doesn’t define itself that narrowly.
If BlackBerry can recapture its own brand equity, it can turn the Z10 into a true winner.