Banking on the Power of Trust

How much are the relationships you make worth to you? To Blackberry, formerly RIM, it is worth enough to hire Alicia Keys to the created position of “global creative director.” A little over 5 years ago Blackberry was a sizable competitor in the smartphone industry and was the phone to have for any self-respecting businessman/woman. Fast forward to the present and they now make a negligible difference in the market selling only about 1.1% of the smartphones sold in the U.S. Now Blackberry is attempting to use the still fairly untested power of the social platform to increase sales after corporate makeover.

I think this is an interesting move though not surprising given the trend to benefit from the social construct of society. However with news of GM pulling ads off Facebook, citing lack of evidence of profitable gains as the cause; and less than stellar performance by social companies in the public trading environment there seems to be a disconnect. The strength of social bonds and the power of trust do not appear to make the jump from feelings and experiences into monetary gain. Blackberry has a hell of an uphill battle to compete with the choke-hold Apple and Droid has on the market. Hopefully this will be the push they need.

Is the strength of Alicia Keys network worth the price tag of creating a position for her? Can we actually profit from the use of personal networks? Maybe it’s too new to tell but it’s definitely important for Blackberry to do something.

3 thoughts on “Banking on the Power of Trust”

  1. I seriously doubt Alicia Keys can help bring Blackberry back into relevance and RIM (owners of Blackberry) is throwing away money when they should be feverishly marketing its newest phone.
    Using the social platform as a way to increase sales is a difficult process. A company cannot just throw ads on Facebook and say they are using the social platform. They need to create an active “Like” page to post updates about new products and services and respond to comments; use Twitter to have an almost open dialogue with users. GM pulls off its ads because it was doing only placing static ads. If RIM needs to use these platforms to actively market itself and become ingrained into peoples’ news feeds and homepages, not just some picture on a side bar.
    Even then, the Blackberry phones need to get over the intrenched users. I have a two year contract with my phone and do not plan on changing phones until then; others still will just get the newer version of his or her phone because they are so intrenched into that devices ecosystem. Even the most prevalent social presence will have a hard time fighting that.

  2. I think that that the stategy of Blackberry is very intersting, even though I also doubt that it works very well. Trying to increase the market share through a focus on the social network seems to be unrealistic to me, even though we already got an idea of the dynamics a social network provides. Nevertheless, since competition is harder than ever before I suppose that Blackberry should focus on its products itself more that a social network which is hard to implement and uncertain reagarding the future. If the market share would be big enough and particiation in a network introduced by Blackberry would be larger, it might could work, but since this is not the case and there are many other social network applications that other cell phone producer provide, I guess Blackberry should change its stategy.

  3. Blackberry is in an interesting position at the moment in my opinion. With the recent struggles of Apple stock, and a maturing life cycle in the smartphone market I believe that there is room for Blackberry to position itself in a niche market. Blackberry should re-establish its identity of a business phone, where their name still carries weight. They have been lacking in their technology development, so these new phones will again make them attractive as a business phone.

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