The Kindle story offers lessons for all marketers

Kindle: an elegant union of strategy, tech and environment A couple of weeks ago I was in Boston on my way to have lunch with a marketing s...

20 May 2009 2100 Views

Kindle: an elegant union of strategy, tech and environment

A couple of weeks ago I was in Boston on my way to have lunch with a marketing strategist who’s blog I read on occasion. As I was on my way out the door my business partner phoned. I told him my lunch plans and he asked if I had read the strategist’s book. “I didn’t know he had a book” was my reply. Three minutes later I had the book in my Kindle and was able to skim enough of it in a 20-minute cab ride to extract a few discussion points. And that’s just one of the reason’s I am in awe of the Kindle.

Picture 38 In fact, Amazon’s Kindle gets my vote for the most ingenious marketing innovation of the decade (the operative word being “marketing” innovation not “technical” innovation). It is not technology for technology’s sake, it is technology for marketing’s sake. Rarely do customer, company and environmental benefits meet so elegantly under one marketing strategy as in this wireless reading device.

Kindle is truly a win-win-win product. A win for readers because it makes it possible to carry hundreds of books and periodicals with you and easily search them, add notes, etc. It also makes it infinitely easier to purchase a book. This is great for the consumer but an even bigger win for Amazon. With Kindle in hand, books now become an impulse purchase. And at $9.99 or less per book, the price is right. The third “win” is for the environment. Books delivered digitally thorough Kindle Whispernet require no paper or printing and no CO2 for transport. I got my Kindle2 last Christmas and it is still my favorite work tool.Picture 39

Amazon is posturing Kindle to be for writing what the iPod is for music. But just as Amazon started in books and then expanded beyond, the Kindle seems poised to offer readers more than the latest John Grisham novel. The main menu includes an “Experimental” section which includes basic web surfing capabilities, MP3 player and the legally debated text-to-speech feature. I believe these beta-functions are foreshadowing the future direction of the device which I bet will include full-color touch screen, web browsing all in addition to books and periodicals via Whispernet.

Picture 41 One recent development is the ability to subscribe to blogs, including Brand Rants, for $0.99 a month. Why pay for something that’s free online? I don’t know, but I suppose the answer has something to do with the convenience (and coolness) of having it effortlessly delivered to your Kindle. Convinced? Sign up here.

I think we all have a lot to learn form Jeff Bezos when it comes to using technology to enhance our marketing. I would advise any marketer to study the Kindle case as an example of how a smart marketing strategy can best put technology to work. We’ve only seen the first few chapters of the Kindle story, so far its a real page-turner.

See Also:
Amazon Puts Any Blog on the Kindle, for a Price

Will Digital Books Turn Paper Books to Kindle-ing?


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Sean Duffy | @brandranter
Speaker, consultant & founder of Duffy Agency, the flipped digital agency that provides accelerated growth to aspiring international brands.