South Africa’s youth has named BlackBerry, the country’s leading smartphone brand, as the ‚Coolest Brand Overall’ in the Sunday Times Generation Next 2011 Brand Survey Awards. BlackBerry also took top honours in the ‚Coolest Cellphone’, ‚Coolest High-Tech Gadget’ categories and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) was named ‚Best Cellphone Application’.
The results of the seventh annual Generation Next Brand Survey Awards were announced in Kyalami, Johannesburg last night. HDI Youth Marketers, which annually conducts and consolidates the urban youth market research cited BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) as one of the primary reasons for naming BlackBerry the ‚Coolest Brand Overall’ in the prestigious awards.
Says Craige Fleischer, Regional Director Southern Africa at Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry solution: ‚Generation Y’s choice of BlackBerry for the coolest brand overall reflects the importance the smartphone has assumed in the increasingly connected lives of a tech-savvy generation. The BlackBerry smartphone is a social tool and a lifestyle device that keeps them in touch with everything that matters to them.‚
Fleischer says that BlackBerry smartphones have become the choice of South Africa’s youth because they are both aspirational and affordable, such as the BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone. BlackBerry smartphones offer an excellent set of features for social networking and unique applications like BlackBerry App World and BBM which allow users to easily share updates, images, information and opinions with friends and family in real-time.
BlackBerry Internet Service is another reason for the brand’s local success. For R59 per month for prepaid and post-paid options, the BlackBerry Internet Service offers unlimited on-device Internet browsing and email access at the most affordable rate in South Africa. This service is unique to BlackBerry smartphones and makes access to mobile email, Internet, instant messaging and social networking more affordable for a wide range of customers. The youth especially love BlackBerry Messenger which enables them to share text and voice messages, pictures and video clips. BlackBerry Messenger experienced a 500% increase in usage in 2010 and boasts over 43 million users worldwide.
“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,‚ explains Jason Levin, managing director of HDI Youth Marketers. ‚BBM turned the BlackBerry, a smartphone also used for business purposes, into a cool-tool for youth.””