BlackBerry BOGO: A well kept secret

Yes, I’m a BOGO person. I love those buy one, get one free deals.

Especially when the products offered are useful and present a chance at substantial savings.

That’s why Verizon Wireless’s new BlackBerry BOGO campaign is interesting to me.

Launched on February 6, and running through March 31, it’s the first time the wireless carrier is using a BOGO approach for Research in Motion smartphones.

And yes it includes RIM’s iPhone-killer smartphone – – the touch-screen Storm.

“It is pretty common in the retail trade to do a buy one, get one free offer and we have used this kind of promotion in the past. It isn’t unusual in the retail trade,” a spokesperson told me.

But it is the carrier’s first BOGO for RIM products, she acknowledged.

Of course buyers have to get data plans for both – – no surprise as that’s what’s subsidizing smartphone costs these days.

But two Storms for the price of one, which is $199, is pretty amazing in terms of a retail deal and prompts questions about whether it means Verizon Wireless is looking to unload inventory or just boost RIM sales.

While Verizon Wireless calls it “ordinary,” there are something things that don’t strike me as ordinary.

First, most retailers send up balloons and blow horns when running a BOGO sale. You can’t miss the fact that one is happening.

But at Verizon Wireless it’s easy to miss the BlackBerry BOGO campaign.

You essentially have to hunt for this deal as it’s no where to be found on the front pages or even under the wireless carrier’s link to special offers or current promotions.

Even a link to “brilliant savings” with smartphones on the main door doesn’t mention it, though there is a deal for a free BlackBerry Pearl with a services plan.

But no BOGO news anywhere.

In fact I had to email Verizon Wireless to track it down.

You have to click on ‘BlackBerry’ under the “phone & accessories” menu in the top red navigational bar on the site.

There you’ll [see]( the eight BlackBerries (including Pearl, Curve, Storm and World Edition devices) listed with the marketing offer in the price section.

I emailed Verizon Wireless again to find out more on what the strategy is.

Here is their response:

*We are responding to the market and providing customers with the data devices they want and need. More and more customers are upgrading to smart phones so this promotion provides them with an affordable means of doing so. These are data users so their ARPU is higher. *

Okay, I can see why trying to boost the user base of high-end phones has a clear payoff. They’ll spend more money on services.

But I still don’t understand why it’s such a well-kept secret on their site.

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