Comparing how Kindle, Nook Color are promoted

The Kindle and the Nook Color are both promoted heavily on Amazon and B&N’s websites. Let’s compare how the two are promoted and see if anything interesting pops up.

Comparing how Kindle, Nook color are promoted – the main pages

B&N’s main site has an image of the Nook Color right at the top taking up around a quarter of the page -

  1. Nook Color has Elle Magazine showing on the screen. An obvious focus on its color capabilities and strength with magazines.
  2. Nook Color is described as an ‘Award Winning and Best-selling Reader’s Tablet’. The use of the term ‘Reader’s Tablet’ is interesting.
  3. Nook Color gets a ‘Buy Now’ button which takes you to the Nook Color product page.
  4. There’s a ‘Best Dedicated eReader’ quote from The Associated Press shown. This is something that comes up repeatedly – a focus on showing what the Press thinks of Nook Color.
  5. There’s an option to start a ‘360 degree view’ of the Nook Color. This is surprisingly helpful.

Amazon’s main site has Kindle right in the center and taking up around 30% or so of the page. It just seems to be getting a bit more focus than the Nook Color gets on B&N’s website.

  1. There’s a book shown on the Kindle’s screen. The angle makes it hard to tell which book.
  2. It’s described as ‘The #1 Bestselling Product on Amazon’. We see a lot of this in Amazon’s marketing – a focus on how well Kindle does amongst Amazon customers.
  3. There’s text saying ‘order now’ but no button. Instead there are links for the $139 Kindle WiFi and the $189 Kindle 3.
  4. No Press quotes or references. Amazon focuses primarily on customers for social proof.
  5. No option for a 360 degree view.

At this point the Nook Color has a bit of an advantage because it’s got the 360-degree view. However, Amazon.com gets a ton more traffic.

The Product Pages for Kindle, Nook Color

Amazon is all about details and logic and social proof

Let’s start with the Kindle 3 product page.

  1. In the name itself we get a lot of phrases highlighting Kindle strengths – wireless, reading device, free 3G, works globally, new eInk pearl technology. The name is far too long but the idea is good.
  2. Social Proof from customers – #1 bestseller, most 5 star reviews. It’s clearly shown that Kindle 3 has a 4.5 stars rating based on 16,179 reviews. Amazon is completely focused on showing how much other customers like the Kindle.
  3. There’s the added social proof that 3,343 people ‘Like’ the Kindle (there’s a little Like button on the top right).
  4. The choice of graphite or white.
  5. An indicator that it’s In Stock.
  6. A section on reviews from major publications. Example: ‘New Kindle leaves rivals farther back’ from The New York Times. This is the first and only place where Press Reviews are shown.

Those are the things visible before you scroll down. So Amazon’s focus seems to be – To show customers love the Kindle, and throw in the fact that the Press loves the Kindle too.

As you scroll down you run into all the data you could possibly want to help make a decision (including user reviews) -

  1. A section on main features/selling points. It’s interesting how it’s a very data-oriented layout. It’s just a bunch of bullet points with photos to the side. The features Amazon highlights are – eInk screen, sunlight reading, new fonts, sleek design, 15% lighter, battery life of one month, double storage, books in 60 seconds, free 3G wireless, WiFi, faster page turns, enhanced PDF reader, new WebKit browser.
  2. Then there’s a section where each of these is explained, along with some other benefits like lending and ease of use.
  3. A section comparing eInk to LCD screens.
  4. A section comparing the various Kindles.
  5. A section on choosing between Kindle 3G and Kindle WiFi.
  6. A size comparison of the new Kindle 3 and the older Kindle 2.
  7. Charlie Rose interview with Jeff Bezos.
  8. A video on features. All Amazon videos focus on people reading on the Kindle. B&N focuses on the Nook Color.
  9. A detailed list of features and benefits. There are images on the right side throughout. The left side has a ton of detail – everything you would want to know about each feature.
  10. After a few pages the right side shows a list of bestsellers and new releases and highlights the $9.99 price of Kindle books and the savings over hardcovers.
  11. After quite a few pages detailing the various features there’s a section talking about Kindle reading apps.
  12. A section on technical details.
  13. A few sections on Accessories and then a video on what customers are saying.
  14. Finally, customer reviews. The focus is on ‘most helpful’ customer reviews, with ‘most recent’ customer reviews listed on the right side.

Those are the main sections. It’s 20 pages of details and writing and around 4 pages of accessories and forum links and such.

20 entire pages detailing Kindle’s features and benefits. Amazon is putting all the information customers could want right on the product page. The more you read, the more invested you get. The further down the page you go, the more reasons you get to buy the Kindle. It all culminates in the solid customer reviews.

It’s also interesting that apart from product details and social proof there isn’t very much else. It’s a very logical, data rich approach.

Here are 25 reasons to buy the Kindle. Every other Amazon customer is buying it. Just Buy It!

That brings us to the Nook Color Page.

B&N is all about visuals and promoting features Kindle doesn’t have

B&N seems to want to focus on showing how pretty and bright and colorful the Nook Color is. 

  1. The first thing that’s interesting is that B&N changes what’s shown on the screen of the Nook Color – the screen rotates through images of magazines, the bookshelf, Nook Store, the home page, and Elle magazine.
  2. It touts Nook Color as ‘The Ultimate Reading Experience’.
  3. The features it focuses on are – 7″ color touchscreen, magazines & newspapers in color, kids’ books coming alive, 2 million plus titles. It’s clearly focusing on things the Kindle can’t do that well.
  4. After that, there’s a section titled ‘Touch the Future of Reading’ which focuses on the color touchscreen, the WiFi, sharing, personalization, personalized recommendations, and Nook Extras (Nook Apps).
  5. There’s a small section that covers NookBooks, Nook NewsStand, and NookKids. Then accessories and a bunch of links.

The main Nook Color product page only lists the main selling points of the Nook Color. There are other pages that cover – Features, Specifications, Book Choice, Magazine Choice, Nook Kids, Extras, Reviews, Support, and Protection Plan. The features page has a sub page for each and every feature. Lots of images.

For reviews B&N only features reviews from the press. No user reviews at all.

B&N even has photos of famous people, such as George W. Bush, seen with the Nook Color. Have no idea what to make of B&N’s focus on what the Press thinks of Nook Color as opposed to what actual owners think.

B&N has a pretty different approach from Amazon.

Look how shiny and pretty Nook Color is. Look how the Press thinks you should get it. Look at all the things you can do on this you can’t do with the Kindle.

As opposed to Amazon, which focuses mostly on what customers think of the Kindle and on providing copious amount of information, B&N focuses most on showing lots of bright color images of the Nook Color, promoting the features heavily (especially the features Kindle doesn’t have, like the color screen), and showing that the Press loves Nook Color.

It’s almost as if B&N is aiming Nook Color at people in love with pictures and colors and shiny gadgets while Amazon is aiming Kindle at people in love with words and logic.

4 Responses

  1. Great observation! I just purchased a Kindle last week and noticed all the many things you detailed above.

  2. I would like to know which awards do the nook color have won.

  3. Just more reasons why one company is doing well and the other one is struggling.

    However, I will take advantage of your blog switch to vent off some anger.

    Today I read that Kindle for iPhone got the software upgrade to get page numbers and a series of other improvements. And the Kindle DX?! What is going on Amazon? We pay for a more expensive device and we are treated like second class citizens?! iPhone users don’t even pay a dime to download the Kindle app for their phone and they get the update first.

    Not a very clever way to treat a customer. I expect that from B&N, but not Amazon.

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