BB is cool, but…

Incoming for our friends at Ogilvy in Cape Town (and belatedly blogged), the results of the the Sunday Times Generation Next 2011 Brand Survey, conducted by HDI Youth Marketeers.

This is a hugely useful survey for companies wanting to market to young people, with loads of results for what is “cool” according to the more than 7,200 youths (aged 8-22 Julius, ok?) questioned in the survey. Toothpaste to Comedians, DJ’s to Fashion, it’s all in there and it’s making me feel old.

One thing that did stand out was Blackberry, which came top of the “Coolest Cellphone”, “Coolest High Tech Gadget” and – most interestingly of all – “Coolest Brand Overall” categories. This is conclusive proof that something doesn’t have to actually be very good to be very cool.

Blackberry phones, when compared (rationally and unemotionally) to other smartphones on the market (i.e. iPhone or Android) are actually pretty rubbish, but they have BBM, as Jason Levin, managing director of HDI explains:

BBM is the archetypal ‘killer app’ – it’s one of the best examples ever of intrinsic functionality driving demand for a cell phone … or any device for that matter.
BBM turned the Blackberry, originally a smart phone used for business purposes, into a cool-tool for youth.

And he’s right. Because if that’s all you want from your phone, then BB is the one for the job. And while BB users are desperate to have the functionality and stability of other phones, other phone users would kill to have BBM. Fortunately, it might not be long before that happens. And if/when it does, how long before the “killer app” effect wears off for Blackberry?

Good news for BB then and many of the other brands in there who will be hoping to get their hands on the R95bn that the under-23 market spends in SA each year.

Disclosure: Ogilvy sent 6000 miles… a Goodie Bag containing products from many award winners and nominees. (But no Blackberry)