Six Words You Never Want to See in a Headline

"Just in Case: Alternatives to [insert your product name here]"

The product in question: BlackBerry. The Washington Post penned a timely piece on what happens if legal issues force Research In Motion to unplug the service.

RIM offers updates on its site that are nearly unintelligible without a legal degree. An update consumers can understand would help.

The good news: most of RIM’s customers aren’t looking for BlackBerry alternatives. They’re rooting for status quo. But RIM can do a better job of reassuring its base that all’s on the up and up. If a mass customer exodus started to ensue, which is fathomable thanks to all the press along the lines of the WP article that has come out, RIM could take a short-term hit and offer a month’s free service to keep its base at ease until the legal disputes pass.

Meanwhile, if I’m a competitor, I’m going on an acquisition feeding frenzy now. Bring on the direct mail, the search marketing, the all-out PR blitz. Now’s the moment.