Using Social Media Analytics to Evaluate the BlackBerry Z10, Preview Adoption in Global Markets
Operating in a fierce competitive environment where constant innovation is a requisite of survival, technology companies constantly search for new ways to gain a strategic advantage over the competition. The Crimson Hexagon team was curious: how can these firms better understand consumer motivation, and learn how new branded devices are anticipated and received across international markets?
BlackBerry (formerly known as Research in Motion or RIM) has recently launched its first BB OS 10-powered smartphone, the BlackBerry Z10, in the United Kingdom. The company’s new flagship device has a stylish new design and fresh interface, 4G connectivity, and several new features that place the phone on par with more popular, entrenched players such as the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, and Nokia Lumia 920.
Many feel the Z10 marks BlackBerry’s last stand to regain lost market share, and to avoid fading into the abyss with other once-great consumer device manufacturers. Naturally, we speculate: will BlackBerry be able to compete in the growing smartphone market, and remain relevant to consumers?
Using the Crimson Hexagon ForSight™ platform, we analyzed consumer reactions in the UK to the launch of the BlackBerry Z10 and then compared these findings to existing perceptions of the Z10 in the US market—where the Z10 has not yet become available for retail.
Consumer Reactions in the UK to New BlackBerry
Let’s start with the UK market for the Z10. For this analysis, we looked at 32,237 relevant posts by consumers in the UK from January 28th through February 18th. Since the device’s UK introduction, consumer opinion of the BlackBerry Z10 has been very unfavorable (74%). Negative conversation among UK consumers is driven by a simple lack of interest in the Z10 (40%).
In addition, 16% make explicit their belief that BlackBerry is an industry follower, and 5% note the similarities of the Z10 to existing smartphones in the market. Interestingly, 13% of the conversation about the Z10 reflects pessimism on the company’s future.
On the positive side, 12% reflects praise of the Z10, as some consumers are impressed with the new features and design. Purchase intent represents 5% of the conversation.
Consumer Perceptions in the US of New BlackBerry
We utilized the same category structure as our UK analysis to easily compare the results across each market. In this case, US consumers are much more prolific in their discussion of the Z10. Over the same time period, we analyzed 65,530 relevant posts—nearly twice the discussion of UK consumers, though the smartphone has yet to hit the shelves in the US.
But, while volume provides a useful baseline comparison, this metric alone is inadequate in assessing consumer motivations. Instead, we must dig deeper to examine the breakdown of underlying sentiment propelling this online discussion. Mirroring the UK response, we found 74% of the total US conversation about the Z10 is negative; however, the relative weights of the drivers behind this sentiment have noteworthy differences.
In the context of Z10 discussion, 40% of US consumers are pessimistic about the future of BlackBerry, and even more voice their view that BlackBerry is an industry follower (23%).
Interestingly, while UK consumers display active aversion to the new BlackBerry device itself, US consumers more naturally connect the Z10 to the company’s woes.
Additionally, 9% of the conversation reveals no interest in the Z10, while 3% call out the Z10’s resemblance to existing product offerings.
Regarding favorable discussion, 9% reflects praise of the new features and design of the Z10. What’s more, purchase intent only represents 3% of the conversation.
When the Z10 officially launches in the US market, how will consumers react? How will the iPhone 5S and subsequent Android-powered smartphones compare?
By performing contextual analysis of social data, technology companies can uncover nuances in consumer product perceptions across global markets. At Crimson Hexagon, we will continue to analyze subsequent smartphone releases, and uncover the elements driving consumer aversion to some products and migration to others.
If you want to learn more about our findings on the BlackBerry Z10, which include an analysis of the product’s Super Bowl ad, download our complimentary study:
Social Intelligence Analysis: Consumer Opinion On New Product Adoption
Would you buy a BlackBerry Z10? Tweet us @crimsonhexagon!