Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A "Nook" to go with my "Zune"

Arguably the best marketing campaign of all time was Coca-Cola's "It's the real thing" campaign. It reinforced the idea in the consumer's mind that Pepsi is a copy cat of Coke, the cola leader.

Today the marketplace is filled with leading brand's (the real thing's) and copy cat also-ran products.

Obviously, you want to be a leader brand. Or I thought it was obvious.

Yesterday I stopped in Barnes & Noble to check out a book and look around. As soon as I got both feet in the doors I noticed a gigantic display for a new Barnes and Noble product called the "Nook."

Aside from a terrible name, what is a nook?

It's Barnes and Noble's version of the Kindle (Amazon) that is essiantially an ipod for reading.

Or just another also-ran product.

And this isn't the first time Barnes and Noble, a bookstore pioneer, copied Amazon. They created bn.com after amazon.com took off and was already known as the leader in online book retailing. Did this move pay off? They have yet to overtake the world's largest bookstore in online sales and have hurt their physical store brand in the process.

Revenues have fallen over last five quarters and profits have dipped for the last seven.

If they want to turn that around they should refocus on their core brand; actual bookstores.

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