As much as I love being Canadian, it pains me that where tech is concerned, there are just a handful of companies worth bragging about – and even some of those don’t originate here. It’s for that reason why BlackBerry (formerly RIM) is so close to Canadian hearts; it was a company we could brag about, one that the world gave us props for. But while things were once fantastic for the company, it’s no secret that recent years haven’t been too kind to it.
Admittedly, I’m not sure that I could come up with a great solution for BlackBerry to pursue in order to correct the situation. The fact of the matter is, Android is dominant, and iOS is not too far behind. Even Microsoft, with all of its resources to take both of those head-on, is unable to increase its marketshare in any meaningful way. So what on earth is a company like BlackBerry to do?
Apparently, it can hire someone truly wacky to help the brand become better noticed. Someone such as Rob Ford. Yes, that Rob Ford; Toronto’s most eccentric mayor.
Credit: The Canadian Press / Nathan Denette
It might sound a little absurd for BlackBerry to even consider placing someone like Rob Ford within its executive ranks, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. Today, smartphone vendors target youth more than any other demographic, and while most adults find Ford to be an embarrassment to his city, and even his country, the younger generation doesn’t always agree.
I often read Canada-related news over at Reddit, and anytime there’s a new cringe-worthy story on Rob Ford, there’s always a lot of comments in support of him. The last time I remember Canadians getting behind someone so chock-full of immature antics was in the late 90s with Tom Green.
As sad as it is, BlackBerry hasn’t just realized that it needs to target younger consumers, it seems to be making younger consumers its main focus. This is a stark contrast to 10 years ago, when the majority of the company’s customers were above the age of 30.
It’s hard to predict at this point whether or not Rob Ford’s participation at BlackBerry will further deteriorate its market potential, but one thing’s for sure; a resurgence of “CrackBerry” jokes is coming.