Capturing the 18-24′s

16 Comments

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The most sought after target market, hands down, is the 18-24 age range. Either still in school or fresh out, the majority are still feeding off Mommy and Daddy (hopefully not in the literal sense), and they’re looking to fork over their hard-borrowed money for anything that’ll nudge their social status that much higher.

Having used to work for a wireless carrier, I saw the cell phone trends come and go (or stay well beyond their welcome – I’m talking to you, Razr), but rarely did I have one of those 18-24′s ask me about the BlackBerry.

I’m not saying it’s a necessity for this crowd to be carrying one. Heck, I’ll even promote delaying it a little bit so that they can enjoy growing up instead of being connected from the get-go. BUT! If RIM is looking to make it in the consumer market, this is the group to tackle. The Pearl’s done an alright job as we’re seeing a lot of fresh faces “j/k’ing” and “lol’ing” over at the forums. But how exactly will RIM get over their suit and tie styles and get to the popped collar and seashell necklace crowd?

Throw traditional advertising out the door right now. Print and TV can only do so much, and if you’re trying to target kids who need (read as: really want) to be connected, chances are they’re not sitting still long enough for a 30-second TV spot to really grab them and get BlackBerrys into their headspace. If you’re going to put a device into an 18-24′s hand, you need to do it yourself – virally.

Get in the schools during orientation with some ultra-hip staff members and give some hands-on time with a BlackBerry to students who’re looking to fit in. Go to events where these young up-and-comers are doing their up-and-coming and show them what a great tool this is and how it can help them in their day-to-day. RIM – if you want these kids as your own, treat them as such. Make them feel like they matter.

I’m just shooting from the hip here, but I’d like to hear what the younger readers have to say. Out of curiosity, what did or what would it take to get a BlackBerry in your hand? And for the older demographic – what are your thoughts on the ‘Berry lifestyle appealing to a younger crowd? Opinions are always more than welcome at BBCool. Feed me your best.

  • Miguel

    I am 24 and I had a blackberry when i was 21 with nextel. I have the Pearl now I think with the new 8800 and the pearl RIM is going to grab more market from 18 – 24 year olds.

  • Miguel

    I am 24 and I had a blackberry when i was 21 with nextel. I have the Pearl now I think with the new 8800 and the pearl RIM is going to grab more market from 18 – 24 year olds.

  • Miguel

    I am 24 and I had a blackberry when i was 21 with nextel. I have the Pearl now I think with the new 8800 and the pearl RIM is going to grab more market from 18 – 24 year olds.

  • Miguel

    I am 24 and I had a blackberry when i was 21 with nextel. I have the Pearl now I think with the new 8800 and the pearl RIM is going to grab more market from 18 – 24 year olds.

  • Kyle Simmons

    I am 17 and I have had a blackberry since the middle of last year and the biggest draw for me was that I could stay connected and have utility such as a full HTML web browsing when I’m away from home or my computer. I recently bought the Pearl for my Birthday in November and it’s a perfect fit for me in that it as least has media capabilities and expandability which was a big draw for me. But if and when RIM goes after the 18-24 group, I’ll be the first to help spread Blackberry Fever among them.

  • Kyle Simmons

    I am 17 and I have had a blackberry since the middle of last year and the biggest draw for me was that I could stay connected and have utility such as a full HTML web browsing when I’m away from home or my computer. I recently bought the Pearl for my Birthday in November and it’s a perfect fit for me in that it as least has media capabilities and expandability which was a big draw for me. But if and when RIM goes after the 18-24 group, I’ll be the first to help spread Blackberry Fever among them.

  • Steven

    I’m 16 and have 3 or 4 friends with Blackberry’s. I love mine! I have an 8700c

  • Steven

    I’m 16 and have 3 or 4 friends with Blackberry’s. I love mine! I have an 8700c

  • http://www.optimuscrime.com/ optimuscrime

    I got my first Blackberry, an 850, in 2000. I was 20. At the time, I was in university and trying to run the tech end of a nonprofit org. Trying to balance these made having instant email indispensable. Since then, I’ve had a 6750 and a 7250. It’s funny: In my early twenties, it was purely for work. Now, in my late twenties, it’s fifty-fifty work and play.

  • http://www.optimuscrime.com optimuscrime

    I got my first Blackberry, an 850, in 2000. I was 20. At the time, I was in university and trying to run the tech end of a nonprofit org. Trying to balance these made having instant email indispensable. Since then, I’ve had a 6750 and a 7250. It’s funny: In my early twenties, it was purely for work. Now, in my late twenties, it’s fifty-fifty work and play.

  • Chris

    I’m 21 and have had a pearl since launch. I paid for it without leeching off the parentals. The biggest draw for me, especially coming from a sidekick, was the always connected aspect. And some may say the sidekick was always connected, it was, but was very limited. The push email from any account, and the fact that you could do basically anything with the pearl, short of making your cat talk, sold me on the device. And it does it all in a small device. The size was the only thing stopping me before, and now since it doesn’t feel like a hockey puck, its bearable. It is an amazing device that no one should be without.

  • Chris

    I’m 21 and have had a pearl since launch. I paid for it without leeching off the parentals. The biggest draw for me, especially coming from a sidekick, was the always connected aspect. And some may say the sidekick was always connected, it was, but was very limited. The push email from any account, and the fact that you could do basically anything with the pearl, short of making your cat talk, sold me on the device. And it does it all in a small device. The size was the only thing stopping me before, and now since it doesn’t feel like a hockey puck, its bearable. It is an amazing device that no one should be without.

  • nb

    I spend almost all my spare time salivating over Blackberry models old and new. I find the only thing stopping me from taking the plunge is that the cost of the plans is prohbitive. Devices can be found cheap on Ebay and the like, but close to $100/month to talk on the phone for a recent college grad – that’s hard to swallow (somebody explain to me how parents justify paying that for a 16-year-old, or how a 16-year-old can afford it).

  • nb

    I spend almost all my spare time salivating over Blackberry models old and new. I find the only thing stopping me from taking the plunge is that the cost of the plans is prohbitive. Devices can be found cheap on Ebay and the like, but close to $100/month to talk on the phone for a recent college grad – that’s hard to swallow (somebody explain to me how parents justify paying that for a 16-year-old, or how a 16-year-old can afford it).

  • L. M. Lloyd

    I’m an old fart (at least in terms of the ages being discussed in this article) at 36, but I think the best marketing tool RIM ever had among the youth was the Sidekick! I can’t count how many young people I have met who got a Sidekick because it was hip, got used to having their messaging wherever they went, and then got really fed up with the poor reliability and slow servers of Danger, only to switch to a BlackBerry.

    I really think that Danger did most of the work of selling young people on an “always connected lifestyle” but couldn’t deliver on the promise. Now all RIM has to do is make devices that don’t look dorky, and deliver on the promises Danger couldn’t.

    I think the Pearl and 8800 are a good step in that direction, because they look good, and don’t exude the “I’m an IT nerd” aura of the earlier BlackBerries.

  • L. M. Lloyd

    I’m an old fart (at least in terms of the ages being discussed in this article) at 36, but I think the best marketing tool RIM ever had among the youth was the Sidekick! I can’t count how many young people I have met who got a Sidekick because it was hip, got used to having their messaging wherever they went, and then got really fed up with the poor reliability and slow servers of Danger, only to switch to a BlackBerry.

    I really think that Danger did most of the work of selling young people on an “always connected lifestyle” but couldn’t deliver on the promise. Now all RIM has to do is make devices that don’t look dorky, and deliver on the promises Danger couldn’t.

    I think the Pearl and 8800 are a good step in that direction, because they look good, and don’t exude the “I’m an IT nerd” aura of the earlier BlackBerries.