Within just first 24 hours of its launch, BBM, the much talked about Messenger service from Blackberry, has recorded as many as 10 million downloads across 75 countries. Once exclusive to Blackberry it is now available across Android and Ios platforms, giving stiff competition to other instant messenger applications like WhatsApp and Line that have become a lifeline for the young generation.
Apprehensions and questions surround the status of Blackberry in the market but Sunil Lalvani , the Managing Director for India operations is confident about the future. Terming the cross-platform launch of BBM a strategic move, he stated, â€œThis was the right time for it to hit the market. Market is instant messenger (IM) fragmented and there are many IM apps available. The USP of BBM is secure private conversation and reliability. Our backbone is the strong network that we have built over the years. Availability of BBM on android and iOS will give an amplified experience to the users making Blackberry a preferred Choice.â€
â€œWe are here to survive. We have over $2billion cash reserve and the company is not under any debtâ€ Lalvani added.
Blackberry is not taking any chances this time. Targeting the youth, the Canadian brand is all set to launch its â€˜BBM for allâ€™ campaign. â€˜We will visit 40 colleges in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. It will be a two day activity where students can download BBM for free, punch the PIN and win cool giftsâ€ said Ashish Gupta, Director, Channel Marketing. â€œBesides Blackberry will also run â€˜Pin2Winâ€™ campaign in the colleges, where students will get talk-time worth the sum of numbers of their Blackberry Pinâ€ Gupta added.
Apart from the college activation campaign Blackberry will also run a CafÃ©-activation campaign across 550 CafÃ© Coffee Day (CCD) outlets in the country. The key attraction will be a free cappuccino. With every BBM download, customers can get a free coffee voucher with the help of their BBM pin.
While speaking to Pitch, Ashish Gupta said â€œThe intention of these campaigns is to capture the youth market which has a great potential making Blackberry a preferred choice for them.â€
Blackberry has also launched the all new Z30 smartphone with Blackberry 10.2 Operating System (OS). The full touch 5 inch device comes with 1.7 dual core processor, quad core graphics and 4 micro phones to provide BB natural sound experience. It will be the first device to come up with a â€œHinglishâ€ dictionary for the Indian youth.
Will these developments turn the fortunes for Blackberry? Will these efforts translate into sustained usage by customers making them brand loyalists again? Blackberry has an uphill task ahead.
By Devansh Sharma