Research In Motion Ltd is changing its name to BlackBerry, the company
announced on Wednesday, in move to refresh its tarnished image as it
begins marketing a re-engineered line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
announcement, made by Chief Executive Thorsten Heins as the company
formally launched the BlackBerry 10, signals the company's hopes for a
streamlined identity as it embarks on a make-or-break drive to regain
lost ground in the smartphone market it once dominated.
is how we're known pretty much everywhere across the world other than
North America, so we have an iconic global brand and when you have such a
powerful brand, you want to make it central," said Frank Boulben,
BlackBerry's chief marketing officer, in an interview.
underscores the close attention the company is paying to marketing as it
launches a product considered crucial to its survival. In the past, it
was roundly criticized for botching the launch of the PlayBook tablet
and other devices.
RIM's aging line-up of devices has competed
poorly in recent years against the likes of Apple Inc's iPhone and
Samsung's wide array of Galaxy devices.
As the company counters
with its new line, the name change will allow it to leverage the value
of the BlackBerry brand - still a powerful asset in spite of RIM's fall
"Previously we had Research In Motion, BlackBerry,
Bold, Curve, Torch, PlayBook - and that dilutes the BlackBerry brand,
which is a fantastic asset," Boulben said. "Moving to a branded house
model allows us to focus our marketing on one name only."
could be crucial for the company, which has undergone a management
overhaul changes and a major restructuring, leading up to the launch of
its re-engineered line of devices on Wednesday.
"We thought now
was the perfect time to accompany that real change with symbolic
change," said Boulben, adding that RIM will change its Nasdaq ticker to
"BBRY" and its Toronto Stock Exchange ticker symbol to "BB" in a matter
The company will undergo a legal name change after its
shareholders pass a resolution to that effect later this year, said a
spokeswoman. Until then the company will do business as BlackBerry.
said the company would have a focused marketing push behind the
revamped smartphones - a stylish touch-screen device and a more
traditional physical keyboard device that many of its die-hard fans
In keeping with its branding strategy, the new devices will also follow a simple naming structure, said Boulben.
want our employees to say, 'I work for BlackBerry.' Our customers to
say, 'I own a BlackBerry.' Our shareholders to say, 'I own BlackBerry
stock,'" said Boulben. "We want to become what I'd call a branded house
versus a house of brands."
© Thomson Reuters 2013
BlackBerry 10 Launch: In pictures