BlackBerry: Mark Guibert

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Whimsical print and outdoor ads bearing the headline "Berry liberating" won not only the attention of corporate information technology folks but also that of a strikingly diverse group of mobile professionals, including sales people, journalists, academics and Hollywood types.

The advertising supported the Blackberry wireless e-mail product and service. Mark Guibert, VP-brand management at Research in Motion, recalls an e-mail message from a customer that epitomizes Blackberry's status: "He said, 'I'm sitting in the back of a taxicab using Blackberry, the DJ on the radio is talking about Blackberry and a bus just pulled up with Blackberry on it ... I think you guys have made it.' "

That's great feedback for Mr. Guibert, and financial results bring more good news: RIM's revenue for first-quarter fiscal 2002, ended June 2, 2001, more than doubled over the previous year to $77 million, and accounting for about 65% of that revenue was Blackberry, which debuted in 1999. RIM, along with agency Quarry Communications, Waterloo, Ontario, took a grassroots approach to building brand awareness for Blackberry. Sales people were dispatched as "wireless e-mail evangelists to educate Fortune 1,000 companies about the availability of an enterprise-class solution for wireless e-mail," says Mr. Guibert, 36.

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