Research in Motion has got 99 problems and satisfying demand ain’t one. (Ha… groan.) Bloomberg reports that weak sales are leaving BlackBerrys and PlayBook tablets in warehouses to collect dust, the value of that inventory reaching $1 billion last quarter. Layoffs are in the offing. Losses are coming. They’ve hired JPMorgan and Royal Bank of Canada to reassess its strategy. Maybe they can do something about this.
Yesterday, trading on RIM stock was halted while CEO Thorsten Heins delivered some bad news. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that RIM is having a very hard time keeping up with Apple and the other competition. The company is promising a new strategy, but an underlying issue the company has to overcome may be more insidious than the already huge business obstacles: “skepticism.”
Forbes uses the word in the headline of a story that rounds up some of the analyst opinions that are floating about. Words used by the analysts themselves: “doubts,” “find it difficult,” “continue to see no chance.” Harsh.
Besides the lack of innovation and direction from BlackBerry, what they’ve failed to do is protect the reputation of the brand. Companies stumble. And RIM has definitely taken a header over recent months. But, there’s always the possibility of a comeback when you have trusting audiences ready and waiting for your resurgence. So many missteps have caused a depreciation in the brand value. A great brand is hard to build, but easy to tear down.
So now the company is going all in on the BlackBerry 10, and people aren’t so sure this is the panacea for RIM’s ills.
“RIM has to pull something out to keep the market interested,” says ZDNet, asserting that waiting isn’t an option. There’s very little that PR can do at this point, but maintaining interest, and hope, for the company may be the one thing.