More brand confusion from Blackberry
This week, search Research In Motion (RIM) unveiled its new tablet product. And after months of speculation that the product would be called the “BlackPad”, medications and our own scathing review of the Blackberry Torch brand strategy, we were surprised to learn they were calling it “Playbook”. Which Beg to Differ thinks is a great name… for a different product…
Trying to have it both ways
In the battle of the tablets, Blackberry needed to come out strongly as the classy, powerful business suit against the jeans and turtleneck of the iPad. Indeed, RIM’s Mike Lazaridis dressed the part in an expensive suit as he delivered very un-Steve-Jobs keynote at the Blackberry developer’s conference. So far so good.
And he was talking the talk too, calling the Playbook: “the first multiprocessing, multitasking, uncompromised browsing, enterprise-ready professional-grade tablet – with raisins”. Okay, I added the raisins, but all those modifiers sure do make it sound… serious.
But it was all undermined by the name. Playbook is a wonderful name, for something you PLAY on. Yes, of course, you can spin “playbook” as a metaphor for a strategic tool, but it comes from the sports world – the world of fun and games.
And RIM actually tried to highlight the game-friendly features of the product.
No no no.
Every aspect of the brand story – from name to messaging to user interface to features RIM chose to highlight, should have screamed “all business”. This needed to be the tablet a corporate IT department would consider buying for mobile employees to WORK on.
Oh, and it’s not a book – either literally or in the sense of a category people will meaningfully associate with your product. A Macbook is more like a book than this – oh wait, isn’t that from Apple?
If RIM must call this a “book”, they should at least include a hinged, book-style cover to underline that as a differentiator.
But that’s just me playing. It doesn’t solve the problem.