01 FEB. 2013

Not a Simple Name Change: RIM Becomes BlackBerry Means Shift in Brand Architecture

On January 30th, 2013, Research in Motion (RIM) President and Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins introduced two new BlackBerry 10 (BB10) devices in New York. The much anticipated announcement has unveiled BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 running on the new operating system.  Besides the new products, Heins also announced a change in company name. Research in Motion will officially become BlackBerry.

“One brand. One promise.” CEO Thorsten Heins said, “Our customers use BlackBerry, our employees work for BlackBerry, and our shareholders are owners of BlackBerry. From today on we are BlackBerry everywhere in the world.”

Change from House of Brands to Branded House

RIM’s decision to change its company name is a move to align itself with the core of its business. BlackBerry, once a branded product line of RIM, has become the center of operation and the star brand that will determine the “survival of the company.” Its fame has also travelled across the globe.

“Outside of North America, we are known solely as BlackBerry and the strength of the brand has opened doors in new and emerging markets. We now represent a company with a clear global brand and cohesive global marketing approach," said Frank Boulben, BlackBerry's chief marketing officer.

RIM has decided to move away from the original House of Brands structure to a Branded House brand architecture strategy. RIM had introduced different sub-brands such as PlayBook for its tablets, BlackBerry Bold, Curve, and Torch before. If not managed well, these names will dilute the overall brand and marketing efforts. By aligning the umbrella brand and its sub-brands under one name, the company will have a clear focus on a single name to strengthen its brand equity. As the company introduces new products in the future, this name change will allow it to leverage BlackBerry’s strong brand assets and elevate its brand esteem.

To promote its new name and operating system BB10, BlackBerry will participate in this year’s Sunday’s Super Bowl advertisement lineup. The company has also appointed singer Alicia Keys as its “global creative director.”

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