My new Blackberry

July 5, 2012
In “The old Blackberry“, I covered the two steps that determined the basis of the brand going forward. Now let’s dream up a solution.

Step C:
 Forget branding, think product. Don’t think “what message can tell my story”, that’s an uphill battle when you’re in deep trouble as most people won’t bother listening. Instead, figure out what product that can communicate a winning position for your brand? I would think that for Blackberry, it’s a smart phone that:
  1. Has a physical keyboard so you can claim superior typing
  2. Has a full-size screen for the ideal browsing experience
  3. Offers security not only for email but for your entire life online

If I could draw, I’d be a cartoonist. But you get the picture.

Points 1 and 2 may appear contradictory, but they don’t have to be. Why not have a phone with a full-size screen on one side and a small screen with keyboard on the other? This means you can have full-screen browsing and videos yet type emails quickly.

The phone could  sense direction to activate the screen that is pointing upward and turn off the other screen. This means you can quickly switch, typing in a URL and then viewing the site on the other side for example. OK, we’ll add a bed-function to switch the activation around when lying down.

Of course two screens are expensive, but if it offers the right user experience, people are willing to pay for it. Plus I’m sure there’s more profit in a $500 cell phone with two screens than in a $200 close-out PlayBook tablet with one screen.

An additional advantage is that such a phone could be more compact than its competition. Current full-screen smart phones are around 1″/25mm taller than the screen to accomodate buttons and speakers/microphones. In a dual-screen phone, you could have all those items on the keyboard side so the other side could be completely covered by the full-size screen, no bigger. Much more convenient than the current crop of smart phones with 4.8″ screens that almost require a dedicated shoulder bag.

Point 3 is the real kicker. Blackberry could become your security organizer. For starters an app that (automatically) updates the passwords on your social and other online platforms. We all know we need to frequently vary passwords for security, but we don’t because we lose track and can’t remember them. If your phone takes care of actually remembering the passwords, you won’t mind that they change often. That then leaves the Blackberry itself as the first line of defense. Rather than relying on just passwords or pin codes, Blackberry could offer some type of continuous iris scanning on your phone. You have a camera facing you anyway, so why not have it perform a regular scan to make sure it’s still you holding the phone.

Of course this may require the cooperation of the online platforms you use. There are some ways around this, but ideally Blackberry would collaborate with these platforms so that your Blackberry becomes the official authentication. This way, even if you want to log on to a social network using your laptop, the site would ask for a Blackberry iris scan to authenticate you. Moving from security to privacy, Blackberry could track what information is pulled from your phone by these platforms. You give Blackberry one global setting for what you are and aren’t willing to share, and they make sure nothing else leaves your phone. While it is impossible for us users to read all the terms & conditions we encounter, Blackberry could take care of that and keep us “safe”.

So ask yourself, a phone with a full-size screen, a keyboard, quick switching between screens as you turn over the phone, security for all your online activities, is that a product that:

  • stands out from the crowd
  • showcases the Unique Selling Propositions of Blackberry?
  • would get buzz going?
  • tells a compelling story?
I would say so.

One Response to “My new Blackberry”

  1. David W Says:

    I love my Berry but the challenge was RIM. The culture layers below Jim B was one where if it wasn’t designed at RIM then it wasn’t an option. On the other front there were trust issues with developers whereby ideas that were presented to the RIM middle management layer would never go anywhere but all of a sudden might pop up later in time as a middle manager’s bright new idea.

    Gerard.. you want a cool RIM idea that one of your old employees thought was extremely viable? email me.. I think you will find it a relevant idea.

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