There’s a great PR lesson to be learned from the marketing strategy around B&N’s Nook Color: if you cannot beat your competitors in terms of quality, at least be “trendy.” The trendy proposition, in fact, is already a constant in the ways companies are doing business online today. For example, it doesn’t matter what you say, how smart you or what values you can bring along, if you are not on Twitter you are apparently worthless as a communicator… But that’s a different story.
Today, focus on Nook Color for a change, a product that took a small fortune to be developed, and according to some, still behind Amazon’s Kindle in terms of quality and usability. There are a few who say that Nook Color’s screen will not perform under direct sunlight, whereas Amazon’s Kindle will. Also, a price comparison is still in support of the new Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6, while Barnes & Noble Nook Color only gets kudos for its trendy color display.
It is too early to say whether Barnes & Noble has a winner, but they do win the short-term PR war. They managed to have everybody talking about the device in a relatively short term – more that Amazon managed when they first released Kindle.The strategies were not always fair – “a now you see it, now you don’t” link on their website engaged the media into a guessing game. Then the link vanished, to leave way to an announcement focused on children instead. There are companies applying similar strategies, like Apple with their mysterious events… In advertising, this has been for years a common practice.
Is it fair? Everything is fair in love and war… and considering that this is a PR war… Barnes & Noble is a winner.