Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Kobo: a strong competitor from the north

A good second place

A nice, simple logo and a short
slogan of the company
I already mentioned two of the biggest players in the electronic book market. The last one I am planning to menion is Kobo, a strong company from Canada, providing users with cheap ereaders and a nice bookstore. Thanks to a quality products and good marketing campaign, they managed to beat Barnes and Noble and sucessfully adapt on the market. Their sales and popularity has not overcome Amazon yet, but with a bit of effort, they can easily become the strongest player.
A nice logo, many types of e-readers and relatively low prices all motivate people to choose this company over the others. Customers have a large variety of devices to choose from, such as Kobo Glo, Touch, Aura, Mini etc. Many interesting articles comparing Kobo with other devices, but this is not a blog about ereaders, so let's move on to some other facts.

Marketing is the key

For a company to gain success, it is essential to first let the potential customers discover the company. The key is to use the budget clever enough and capture the attention of people. There is not many competitors, so this shold be easily done. And it really is. Just a simple commercial without any special motive can be helpful. Kobo came up with this video commercial in May last year and they managed to capture the moments spent by reading in a really nice way. Check it out:

It is also important to find customers, who are not very active online and enjoy reading real books. These are mostly older people, who can also appreciate this new, modern way of reading. Kobo sucessfuly made a deal with WHSmith in order to make sure, a real book fans will find a way to their products.
High street newsagent and bookseller WH Smith is throwing down the gauntlet to US internet firm Amazon with a rival ebook reader it hopes will be a "Kindle killer".Its chief executive, Kate Swann, has struck a deal with Canadian firm Kobo to sell its eponymous e-readers, costing from £89.99, and a library of 2.2m books from next week. The retailer will receive a share of the profits on all the Kobo ebooks bought in the UK.The partnership would give the retailer a presence in a developing market and "complement its traditional books business", Swann said.
Read more:

The moving books

The webpage is, in my opinion, the nicest one of all three mentioned companies. It is not too complicated or simplistic, a nice design is combined with a crawl in the middle showing the interesting book choices moving from one side to another. The search box is right in the middle and is probably the most important part of Kobo's webpage asking the visitors what they can find for them. 
I found this webpage less chaotic then the one of Amazon with the fact that after you choose one category (e.g. Fiction) Kobo let's you choose from a variety of sub-categories. This is easy and handy when it comes to finding a new reading tips. On the other hand, the amount of books available, in comparison to Amazon, is limited.
Other interesting section of the Kobo's webpage is certainly a trivia competition anyone can join with a motivation to win discount,  Kobo device or 1000 dollars. Check out the competition here.

Building a community

It can be very difficult to build a successful fanpage with many followers, but a good campaign, activity on the social network can help increase the sales. In terms of online fanbase, Kobo is on the 3rd place actually, but activities such as trivia contest, book recommendations etc. can be really helpful and if customers are happy with the company, they will try to find them on the online networks and certainly help them by spreading the word, commenting, sharing or retweeting. You can do the same. :) Here are the links for online networks:

This is the last company I am planning to review on this blog, but you can look forward to some new articles mentioning other aspects of this new "electronic reading" phenomenon. Feel free to comment on any of articles on this blog and follow me on Twitter to find out about the new ones after they have been posted. :)

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