When a company is struggling as badly as BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has been for some time, you would think it would take all the help it could get. However, the company apparently turned down assistance from teen sensation Justin Bieber, who wanted to lend his name and reputation to the struggling company. However, the company spurned his offer and went with Alicia Keys.
Now we’ll never know if Bieber would have had a greater effect on potential BlackBerry buyers than Keys did (I’m speaking merely of her endorsement here and not of her position as global creative director for the company).
Bieber offered to endorse BlackBerry
Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Felix Gillett put together a package compiling the rise and fall of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). Apparently Justin Bieber offered to endorse the company’s products, but the company said no, saying he was nothing but “a fad” who wouldn’t last. Or maybe it was the way he offered or what he wanted in return for lending his stardom as a teenage heartthrob.
He’s quoted as saying, “Give me $200,000 and 20 devices, and I’m your brand ambassador.”
According to Gillett’s report, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s marketing team practically threw the people who pitched Bieber as a spokesperson out of the room.
BlackBerry’s missing the pulse
Clearly the BlackBerry team wasn’t in touch with what’s popular right now, and not just because of their failure with the BlackBerry 10 phones. They didn’t even recognize that Justin Bieber would indeed last. (Sometimes you just sense these things even if you hope people like Bieber are just a fad who will go away).
BlackBerry management has been struggling to make the company relevant again. Back when the company got started, the only marketing they did was giving some handsets to executives to let them try them out, and that’s how the BlackBerry fad caught on. What if getting the new BlackBerry handsets to catch on had been that simple? It would have been a whole lot cheaper, that’s for sure.