January 15, 2009
I am sure the marketing people at Blackberry screamed in joy when they heard that Obama is addicted to his BlackBerry, doesn’t want to give it up and media won’t stop writing about it. It is an endorsement worth about $25-$50 mil., reports a recent New York Times article. Whatever products Obama uses will get a lot of attention. Just recall the report that Obama is using a Zune. A little eye-witness blog post from Philadelphia made it into the mainstream news very quickly.
But is BlackBerry’s public relations department taking an advantage of it? Not from what I have seen or at least not yet. Now it is riding the wave of interest, but it should start getting proactive soon before Obama gets his new NSA-approved device.
While not all endorsements are desirable, this is definitely one of the best Blackberry could wish for. One endoresement that wasn’t that well received was when George W. Bush was seen with an iPod. It was when not everyone had an iPod and its image was much more important for its continued growth than it is now. Even if Bush posts his iPod One playlist online and his website for kids says “did you know that your Commander in Chief is so hip and cool?” there won’t be too much buzz about it.
Now that BlackBerry has the endoresement of the president-elect, it should start getting proactive and solve the problem that Obama has: He doesn’t want to give up his BlackBerry, but for security reasons he might have to. If there are other phones that are secure and NSA approved, why is there no BlackBerry NSA-approved phone? Wouldn’t this be the time to start building one and have the president be its first owner? I don’t see into the technical challenges this might bring along, but extending the life of a $50 mil. endoresement and building “BlackBerry One” might be worth the costs (not to mention having a product that everyone at Pentagon can use).
BlackBerry should also think about other opportunities. Just to name a few:
And these are just a few thoughts during my quick 10-minute brainstorm. I am sure a creative team can come up with a lot more ideas.