Note: excerpts from this post were run in Marketing Magazine
Blackberry’s business and reputation are taking a mighty battering on the back of a run of average products, lack of clarity about its ownership and rumours of hemorrhaging customers.
As a former Crackberry user, I can vouch for the superb keyboards and email integration. Yet since my Bold ground to a halt and other alternatives proved more alluring, I have never seriously considered going back.
Yesterday, the company published an open letter, ostensibly to reassure its customers. While the letter addresses Blackberry’s immediate financial health and makes a decent case for its product pedigree, it fails to convince of the firm’s longer-term viability nor does it tackle its future direction – key concerns for enterprise technology buyers.
By failing to address these issues directly, the letter is likely to achieve little beyond fueling further uncertainty and speculation.
Blackberry has to settle its ownership question as fast as possible and persuade customers that it has a credible, focused and disciplined new leadership and strategy. Only then will the company have a strong platform for re-building confidence in the brand.
The open letter is too soon, and too little too late.