How Blackberry Phones Became a "Must Have" Product For Indonesians
Trends come and go, what is special today becomes normal tomorrow, but in a recession, and an era were credit is tight, some products have just beaten the recession, and are simply selling well. One example are Blackberry phones.
The International mobile phone market is saturated with so many brands, and clone models of these brands freely available. Yet Blackberry have caught the imagination, and are a sought after, admired phone that have bucked the current save rather than spend mentality in many Countries.
For example in Indonesia, were Mobile Phones are often considered a “Status Symbol”, Blackberry Phones are more expensive then conventional laptops and even a years rent on a house. Yet everyone you meet seems to want one. If someone even takes out a Blackberry phone from their pocket, you find admiring and sometimes jealous looks. People ask, “Is that a Blackberry?.”
This trend has turned into a craze, in a nation were most people live on less than two (2) dollars a day, and those that can barely afford one, are saving frantically to buy one. Even if there are so many cheaper and similar phone brands freely available, throughout Indonesia. Managers and Executives are buying Blackberry phones to help with business, as it has become less of a status symbol, but a must have symbol.
Why is it so Popular?
One reason could be that Barack Obama uses a Blackberry, another reason is that many Indonesians are avid Social net workers, and Facebook is one social networking tool Indonesians flock to. Not only can you have a phone the President of the USA uses, but connect quickly to your network of friends, whilst you are on the move.
Conspicuous consumerism is not dead in Indonesia, even if the current recession is hurting and changing some business, neither is snobbery, because the difference in price of a Blackberry, and other brands often establishes the difference in what you really own, and can afford. And to the “What you own, is what you are” people, this is the ultimate in establishing your Social Status.
A clone model of the Blackberry produced by a Chinese mobile phone manufacture is not selling well, despite the fact it is 80% cheaper than an identical Blackberry, and has virtually the same functions. So people are willing to pay much more because of the status of owning a Blackberry.
Perhaps the ultimate marketing technique of Blackberry is simply to price their phones, so only a few can really afford it, whilst quietly acknowledging it has star appeal as even Barack Obama uses one. Therefore creating a market in the most unlikely of places, were if you do not own a Blackberry, more consumer minded people can simply judge you as being less successful, and poorer then themselves, especially if they own a Blackberry.
There is business in a recession, in fact many aiming a product at people who are “recession proof”, could be one means of growth for many Companies. Marketing to the elite, whilst starting a craze, is often the smart way to succeed in international marketing.