Target Market and Segmentation for Blackberry

Blackberry’s target market is the corporate customer and business people (Dvorak, Vranica & Ante, 2009). The needs of such customers differ from those of the ordinary consumers. For instance, corporate would require a platform that offers security of data, a platform that protects against disclosure of business secrets to unauthorized individuals. The Blackberry enterprise solutions (BES) platform offers such advances thus the continued dominance of Blackberry in such a market (Datamonitor, 2011). Such a target is also evident by the commitment that RIM has put on security features of its devices while lagging behind in aspects such as applications such as video and games that enhance the market share in the mass market (Chris, 2011). An RIM executive quoted in the Wall Street Journal for instance identifies the targeting of such a market to the founder’s unwillingness to compete in the highly competitive consumer-phone market in favor of the corporate market perceived to have higher margins (Dvorak, Vranica & Ante, 2009). Accordingly, RIM initially resisted developing applications such as cameras and music players that had limited use in the government and military customers who were potential customers for RIM products (Dvorak, Vranica & Ante, 2009).

In respect of demographics, Blackberry’s customers are wide varied. For instance, corporates usually provide their executives with blackberry devices to support effective communications from remote locations. Such executives are likely to be within the 30-50 age bracket. Such an age bracket represents individuals who have completed their tertiary education and have not yet retired from employment. In terms of individual customers, Blackberry are targeted to relatively higher income segments that can afford to pay premium rates imposed by carriers to support various blackberry services. These high-income users would also value flexibility more than the lower income groups who would opt for cheaper means of accessing services offered by the Blackberry and other smartphones. The entity focuses on customers who value internet communication with its emphasis on the security of its e-mail communications indicating that the entity’s targets users who value e-mail communication over other channels such as voice and social media.

In recent years, Blackberry has started targeting the consumer group. This is evident from RIM’s introduction of the Blackberry application world that contains applications aimed at meeting the needs of a diverse customer group. Similarly, products such as the Mp3 player and enhancement such as touch screens in the new models of the black berry (RIM Ltd., 2011), suggest a shift of Blackberry’s perspective to enhance its market share for the individual customers. Dvorak, Vranica and Ante (2009) note of such increasing consumer-composition of RIM market as opposed to business customers. Citing statistics from National bank financial, the authors for instance indicate the proportion of RIM’s consumer customers to have by-passed business customers in 2010.

In terms of brand relationship, the corporate customers that blackberry targets would be more likely build relationship with the brand due to their security concerns. Such concerns would for instance limit their evaluation of alternative new products whose security features lack sufficient evaluation in the market. For the individual customer, such brand relationship may not occur since the customers would be inclined to the brand that offers features consistent with their changing preferences. For instance, young customers who prefer games and social networking activities to security offering that Blackberry provides, would be inclined towards android phones and iPhones, which offer more applications compared to Blackberry (Chris 2011).

The changing target market for blackberry implies that the entity must change its market communications approach to compete effectively. Instead of focusing on market communications that provide functional informational about its devices, the entity could embark on aspects such as sponsorship of events that aim to enhance its brand identity. When RIM supplements such sponsorship events with applications and introduction of devices that offer enhanced value to the customer, it would be in a position to create a brand personality that allows formation of stronger customer-brand associations (Fournier, 1998). Go to part six.

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