Brand Strategy Analysis of BlackBerry Shows Some Hard Learned Lessons

Dilbert Strategy

My wife sent me this interesting analysis by Brand Strategy Insider of BlackBerry’s current situation. They detail the 10 lessons companies should learn from BlackBerry’s school of hard knocks. I found it very interesting because it focused heavily on the fact that you need to keep up with what your customers want and where the market is heading. Check out the list below and let me know what you think!

1. The distance between ubiquitous and anonymous is shortening. In 2009, Blackberry was named the fastest growing company by Fortune magazine. Four years later, it has less than 3% of the market.

2. If you’re not driving the speed of innovation in a market, no matter how far in front you are right now, the market will overtake you.

3. The first word is not the last word. Having an innovation doesn’t protect you from the next innovation, because, to quote Alex Goldfayn, “gravity pushes backwards”.

4. If your innovations don’t align with where your key customers are heading, to reference Wayne Gretzsky, there’ll be no-one there who matters when the puck arrives.

5. Every market leader thinks they can spot the disruptive change in an industry and that, once identified, they will then be able to quickly catch up and overtake the competitor. They seldom do.

6. An extensive IP portfolio won’t save an ailing company because it only protects what you’ve developed. If what you’ve developed is now unwanted or unusable, it’s practically worthless.

7. Growing markets don’t always continue to grow where they have grown in the past. Blackberry totally missed the rise of the consumer as the champion of the smartphone, the power of apps to revolutionize devices and the shift of phones to personal hubs. In short, they were Black Swanned, big time.

8. There’s no such thing as a quiet market leader. If you’re not talking to your customers and to the market, increasingly you are generating a void that others will fill.

9. You’re only as innovative as the people who think you forward. As Mike Myatt wrote in this article in Forbes, “Businesses don’t fail – Leaders do”.

10. Customers are responders not innovators. They can make you a market leader, but they can’t help you take or keep the lead. As Clay Christensen put it, “when the best firms succeeded, they did so because they listened responsively to their customers and invested aggressively in the technology, products, and manufacturing capabilities that satisfied their customers’ next-generation needs. But, paradoxically, when the best firms subsequently failed, it was for the same reasons — they listened responsively to their customers and invested aggressively in the technology, products, and manufacturing capabilities that satisfied their customers’ next-generation needs.”

Img credit goes to Dilbert again

5 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Painful to read because it’s painfully true.

  2. I’m interested in learning who “Wayne Gretzsky” is…He sounds a lot like Wayne Gretzky

    Wayne Gretzky also said: “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”, which is relevant here. innovate or die.

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