BBM Lifts Blackberry Buzz

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
October 25, 2013, 9:20 PM GMT+0

BlackBerry’s October 21st iPhone and Android app release of its most cherished feature -- the BBM messaging service -- appears to have done more good for the brand than recent full-page newspaper ads urging customers to stay with them.

Blackberry’s October 15th full-page ads and letters to customers and partners urging them to stick with the troubled company barely moved the consumer perception needle, according to BrandIndex measurements.

However, after the app release a week later – which was downloaded 10 million times its first 24 hours – consumer perception has rebounded modestly. Even purchase consideration measurements for buying a Blackberry stabilized, after having been on a steady descent since early September.

The long term prospects for BlackBerry have not been good: on September 23rd, for the first time, the Waterloo, ON-based company crossed YouGov BrandIndex’s threshold where there is now more negative feedback than positive feedback for the brand, and has remained since.

Additionally, companion research from BrandIndex CategoryView confirms that BlackBerry is trailing major competitors Apple, Samsung, LG and Motorola among consumers who are in market to purchase a new phone within 6 months, whether those consumers currently use a smartphone or a not.

Blackberry was measured with two of YouGov BrandIndex’s scores: Buzz, which asks respondents “If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"; and Purchase Consideration, which asks "When you are in the market next to purchase items in this particular category, from which of the following brands would you consider purchasing?” All respondents are adults 18+.

When its new Z10 smartphone was introduced to the market, BlackBerry’s Buzz score reached as high as 9 in late February. By September 1st, the score had dwindled to 2. On September 23rd, the score reached the zero threshold and continued declining to a score of -8 on October 15th, the day the ad and letters appeared. Over the next few days, Blackberry’s Buzz score drifted down a little further to -9 for a few days, before returning to -7.

After Blackberry issued its BBM apps on Monday, October 21st, Buzz score moved up two points to its current -5 score.

Mirroring the Buzz score, Blackberry’s Purchase Consideration hit a peak of 9% in late February with the Z10 launch, a feat they nearly duplicated as recent as this past August 30th. The smart phone maker had been on a steady decline since that point: on the day their full-page ad premiered, October 15th, their Purchase Consideration was 6%, but moved down to 5% a few days later. However, they moved back up to 6% over the week after the BBM apps were introduced.

YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score ranges from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback. The Purchase Consideration scale is from zero to 100%.

Buzz: Blackberry

Most likely brand for new phone, respondent in market next 6 months - current primary phone is smartphone