Research In Motion's newly appointed CEO Thorsten Heins was heavily criticized from day one for saying that no drastic changes were needed to get the company back on track. Instead, he wanted to bring in "some really good marketing expertise" to better communicate with consumers. Well, if the "Bold Team" cartoon characters is what Heins had in mind, I've officially lost all hope of the BlackBerry maker turning things around.
In an apparent attempt to boost the appeal of its Bold smartphones to the youth market, the company introduced four superhero characters in a recent infographic containing an aggregation of resolutions by RIM users who were asked to tweet how they planned to "Be Bold in 2012." The four Bold characters "bravely stepping out of 2011 and into 2012 filled with unlimited possibilities" include Gogo Girl, who can save the day with her "brilliant strategy, a smile or a spatula," Max Stone who is "tough, proud and a little wild," Justin Steele who is “always ready to stick up for his friends" and Trudy Foreal who is “not afraid to call it as she sees it."
In fairness, the Bold Team concept is not part of a full-on marketing campaign and after it became the object of ridicule the Canadian firm was quick to say this was just intended to be a bit of fun. That isn't stopping people from mocking the effort and making harsh comments on Twitter using the #BeBold hashtag.
RIM's latest misstep calls unfavorable attention to themselves at a time when they're vulnerable. Marketing isn't the company's main problem, of course, their uninspiring product lineup is. With their next generation of smartphones expected to arrive towards the end of 2012, consumers are being asked to buy BlackBerrys that have already fallen behind the competition and are basically rehashed versions of old products.