Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Amazon continue to lead the charge and garner most of the market share in the realm of e-readers and tablets. What I want to talk to you about today is what companies such as Aluratek, Pandigital, Pocketbook, Ectaco, Colby, Velocity Micro, and others need to do in order to stay relevant in 2011 and beyond.
Many companies suffer from the syndrome that if you release a piece of hardware with good specs, people will buy it. They are wrong. People may do impulse buys or get items as gifts. Sometimes you may get lucky and land a distribution deal or have your product on store shelves. This is not the be all end all situation. This is not what you want to do.
In order to stay relevant in 2011 and beyond companies need to create brand identity to build an image. Your customers want to feel enveloped by the social fabric of dealing with your company. So many of the companies I listed release a ton of different products, but they have no soul.
If you look at why Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Kobo do so well, technology and bookstore aside, the answer is that they create unique experiences for their users. They have community feedback, form bookclubs, implement forward thinking features like “Readers Life” and “Lendme.” These companies are constantly developing new social programs and immersing their customers into the company.
The purpose of today’s version of the Good e-Reader Radio show is to explain what Ectaco, Colby, Aluratek, Pandigital, Ectaco, and others need to do to stay relevant and current in 2011. There are a few main factors I touch on; social media, creating a brand, fostering a community, and branded applications. There are a series of small inexpensive steps you can take to reinvent your product line and make your customers feel that they are not buying a gadget, they are buying the community experience and innovative products.
This has seriously been my most passionate tirade for quite some time and I have been thinking about it since the beginning of the year and its been wrecking my soul. This is a quick 30 minute edition of the Good e-Reader Radio show outlining the basic steps companies can make, that are economically feasible, to stand out from the crowd and build something beyond the status quo.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.