Nook Upgraded & the 5 P’s of Marketing

Nook Color ereader

Nook Color ebook ereader now supports Android Apps

And just like that, the Nook matters again. Yes, in the war to win the hearts and eyeballs of readers continues to rage on, and Barnes & Nobles has just proved that it’s not out of the fight.

In 30 seconds or less, the Nook was upgraded from being a humble ebook reader with an attractive color screen, a market where Amazon dominates. A software patch pushed the Nook into the crowded space of tablets, where Apple dominates.

Soon the Nook will have full access to the Android Marketplace, which includes the kinds of games and apps that makes the iPad so popular.

Here are five reasons why this matters to you as it relates to the Five P’s of Marketing (loosely interpreted, of course):

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place (distribution)
  • Promotion
  • People

1.PRICE: Nook competes on price and features. Everyone from the media to the average buyer is enamored with tablets. The venerable iPad 2 is one of the most coveted gadgets on the marketplace, but with prices starting at $499, it’s not exactly within reach of all buyers. For a while, the Amazon Kindle was the device to beat, but it’s still a black and white technology in a color world. At $250, the Nook offers a sharp, full color display. It may not be as full featured or sensitive as the iPad, but it suddenly feels light years ahead of the Kindle, but with a very attractive price point.

2. PRODUCT: Physically, the Nook is a nifty product that fits nicely in a purse or backpack. It’s sturdy, offers plenty of features, and is promising to support Adobe Flash. For those of you (like me), who own an Apple iPad, the lack of Flash support can sometimes be truly annoying. As a technology company, Apple is forcing us into an it supports Angry Birds, which is an amazingly addictive casual game. Y’know, for something to do with the Nook in between reading books. Take that, Kindle!

3. PLACE (aka distribution): When it comes to retail, nobody currently in the tablet or ereader game can truly stand up to Barnes & Nobles. In just about every major city across the US, there’s a Barnes & Nobles retail store. You want a Kindle, you need to go find a store that stocks it (try Best Buy) or go to Amazon.com. Actually, Best Buy sells both the Kindle and the iPad, but they also sell thousands of other products that compete for your attention. They also sell cheaper knockoffs from Pandigital and Acer, which they’d be happy to sell to you. Yet, Barnes  & Nobles is focused on selling their Nook, which places in the spotlight. And at any given time, there’s usually a friendly, smiling B&N sales associate on hand to help demo the Nook. If you compare shopping at an Apple Store or a Barnes & Nobles, you will find that they both offer an excellent experience. Top notch. But there are far more Barnes & Nobles store than Apple Stores, so B&N has a true advantage there.

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