The most important resources and capabilities present at BlackBerry Limited include patents and copyright, corporate reputation, and brand recognition. The following is a presentation of each and its VRIO Framework Analysis.
Patents and Copyrights
The company has obtained patents for the majority of its critical innovations. BlackBerry reports that it owns around 38,000 patents and applications around the world (BlackBerry Limited, 2022b). Some sources value BlackBerry’s patents between $500 million and $5 billion (Au, 2017), the value depending on how the patents will be sold. Auctioning them would impact their value while selling them under normal business circumstances would make them much more valuable. For instance, Blackberry recently entered a patent sale agreement with Catapult IP Innovations valued at $600 million (BlackBerry Limited, 2022a). The high value of its patents and copyrights speaks to the efficiency of the company’s legal department and product management. The company also generates significant revenue from patent licensing business and legacy service fees (SAF).
Patents and Copyrights are valuable to the company, especially in the aspect of thwarting competition. They are also rare because other entities are not allowed to copy and those with licensing rights have to pay a given amount to the company. There is a very low risk of imitation but the industry is characterized by rapid improvements, innovations and disruptive technology that might, which means there is a high chance of similar or better offerings being created (BlackBerry Limited, 2022b). In terms of organization, BlackBerry is just starting to fully utilize its patents and intellectual property rights.
BlackBerry has come to be known for the quality and reliability of its products, especially their security. This is why the company’s smartphones are the go-to option for many government agencies like the State Department, The White House, the CIA, and the FBI (Blonder, 2021). The company equips its smartphones with a military grade security platform, (SolutionsPT, n.d.), that makes them the first choice for departments and entities that deal with very sensitive information.
This good reputation is very valuable because it gives BlackBerry a pool of loyal and repeat clients. However, such good reputation is not rare because it is the tenet on which many businesses are founded. It is also imitable, and companies across the world are driven to study their competitors and copy what they are doing in terms of creating a good reputation. On organization, BlackBerry has put in place the necessary measures to take full advantage of the reputation it has with its clients.
BlackBerry enjoys a strong top-of-mind recall across the globe, given its long history in the market. The company especially became popular when it was once the leading smartphone company (Miller, 2022). Such high brand recognition is important for several crucial reasons. For instance, entrance into any market is relatively easier as the company’s name gives it much more leverage than new entrants (Zia, et al., 2021). Also, the company is likely to be value highly by investors and other stakeholders (Khurram, et al., 2018), adding to its leverage.
A strong brand recognition is valuable because it makes everything relatively easier, from sales to valuation. The level of recognition BlackBerry has is also very rare and only a handful of brands like Samsung, iPhone, Huawei, and Nokia have achieved the same status. Companies can rise to the same level of recognition but it would be very expensive because it will require significant monetary and time investments. BlackBerry’s management has also put in robust measures to take full advantage of this recognition, branching into different markets and segments like IoT and enterprise security (BlackBerry, 2022b). It is for these reasons that BlackBerry’s brand recognition stands out as VRIO.
Blackberry Competitive Advantage
BlackBerry has a clear competitive advantage it can build on to realize more success. The significant number of patents and applications points to the company’s esteem of innovation and research and development (Barker, 2019). This is a good foundation because it means the company will always remain valuable as it is on the constant search for knowledge, insights, changes, and improvements that are useful to the market. The management can then use its reputation and brand recognition to push the products to the market, giving the company a high chance of generating profit. The combination of these three factors allows BlackBerry to produce goods or services more cheaply than many of its rivals.
Blackberry is currently focused on the security niche and has several leading offerings like penetration testing services, security software, MDM solutions, and more (Cyber, 2022). In order to build longer-term competitive advantage, the company needs to focus on where it performs best. This means that the company should put more resources into marketing its brand in the context of the security niche. BlackBerry should put more effort and resources into building awareness of its existence in order to make more people know about its products and services in the security segment. This way the company will leverage its brand recognition and reputation to realize success in the security market.
Au, T. (2017). An exclusive look inside BlackBerry’s patent portfolio as the company continues its monetisation drive. Lexology; IAM. Web.
Barker, S. (2019). BlackBerry creates R&D lab to stay on security’s cutting edge. Securitybrief. Web.
BlackBerry Limited. (2022a). BlackBerry Agrees to Sell Legacy Patents for $600M. Web.
BlackBerry Limited. (2022b). Form 10-K. Web.
Blonder, D. (2021). Security, Privacy, and Trust: How BlackBerry is Upholding Our Core Values for Data Privacy Day. Blogs.blackberry. Web.
Cyber. (2022). BlackBerry: reinventing itself in cybersecurity. Cybermagazine. Web.
Khurram, M., Qadeer, F., & Sheeraz, M. (2018). The role of brand recall, brand recognition and price consciousness in understanding actual purchase. Journal of Research in Social Sciences, 6(2), 219-241. Web.
Miller, R. (2022). BlackBerry phones once ruled the world, then the world changed. TechCrunch. Web.
SolutionsPT. (n.d.). Blackberry Defence and Military. Web.
Zia, A., Younus, S., & Mirza, F. (2021). Investigating the impact of brand image and brand loyalty on brand equity: the mediating role of brand awareness. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change, 15(2), 1091-1106. Web.