BlackBerry launched the much-awaited BlackBerry Z10 smartphone for the Indian market. This latest offering competes with Apple’s iPhone 5, as well as Nokia and Samsung’s premium offerings.
What distinguishes the launch of the Z10 is its detailed five-phased marketing strategy.
“Our work around the Z10 launch began four months ago. We have a five-phased model, which is different from the other product launches. Compared to all our other launches, we have invested disproportionate time, energy, efforts and money into this campaign and setting up this new retail experience,” shared Krishnadeep Baruah, Senior Director Marketing Asia Pacific, RIM.
The brand is also taking this opportunity to leverage its newly appointed brand ambassador Ranbir Kapoor. Kapoor will be closely involved in the Z10 campaign as well as campaigns for products across the board, given his mass appeal.
For the first phase of the five-phased marketing strategy, the brand tried to build an element of intrigue around the product by placing it in the hands of global advocates. This was followed by numerous sessions of discussions about various features of the product initiated with BlackBerry World, the brand’s annual conference in Orlando. Developer sessions all across the world were also conducted, where the brand released certain features of the product to create a buzz.
The second phase started in December last year. It was dominated by the digital medium that highlighted the product and its specifications. Simultaneous development of new apps was also undertaken.
‘Inspire’ was the third phase conducted in January this year, where the product was given to three key influential global celebrities, namely, writer Neil Gamain, singer Alicia Keys, film producer Robert Rodriguez, who have built individual projects called ‘Keep Moving’ in their areas of competencies. The brand will leverage these projects on social media to heighten consumer engagement by asking consumers how to end each story, song or short film.
The fourth phase includes the official launch of the product. The brand aims make consumers experience the product via activations planned at various places including malls, airports and theatres.
The brand also kicked off a pre-booking campaign for Vodafone consumers to increase awareness and get a large pie of customer base through Vodafone.
“There will be a 360-degree campaign with television, print and OOH and digital in the beginning of March; this is the amplification phase. The fifth phase is the integration phase; we have 2000 points of presence and 1300 dedicated store promoters who have been trained over the last four weeks about the product. The aim of the amplification campaign is to drive footfall into the retail stores,” added Baruah.
The launch of Z10 is going to be followed by the launch of Q10 in April, which will also be targeted at the premium segment.
“It is about creating an experience with balance, which is seamless. The journey from RIM to BlackBerry has refined our vision in the world of mobile computing. The Z10 has been developed with the voices and insights of our consumers. With BlackBerry 10, every feature, every gesture, and every detail is designed to keep you moving,” said Sunil Dutt, Managing Director India, BlackBerry.
The brand has also partnered with HDFC in the banking sector and PVR Cinemas in the entertainment space for apps, aimed to increase user interface and use.
The Z10 includes 70,000 apps, voice calling, video chat, and support for content in eight Indian languages – Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Devanagiri (Hindi), Gurmukhi (Punjabi), Gujarati, and Bengali – as well as support for third-party solutions for Indian language input.
The brand is confident that new and innovative features such as BlackBerry Flow, BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Messenger (which has been a huge success for the brand earlier and played a pivotal share in gaining traction amongst the youth) will help the brand gain market share and strengthen the its position amidst competition.