Dispatches from the Digital Revolution
Barnes and Noble unveiled their Nook tablet this week… and spent the whole event talking about Amazon.
I wasn’t at the event myself, but from the accounts I’ve heard and read, this is the one thing that stands out to me: not the new features, improved graphics, or wifi capabilities of this new reader, but the fact that Amazon is its biggest competitior.
And okay: they want to nip this competition in the bud. But let’s be honest, Barnes and Noble. Every time you mention Amazon’s Kindle, you remind your audience that this isn’t the only tablet reader on the market. You remind your audience that this isn’t the cheapest tablet reader on the market. In fact, you end up devoting about as much airtime to your number one competitor as you do to your own product.
What does that say to me as a consumer? It sends a message of insecurity. It says to me that Barnes and Noble is only doing this to make a good show against Amazon, but they’re not really into it.
In that respect, I have more respect for Amazon. When they revealed their tablet, they spent their unveiling talking about all the selling points of their new product. In fact, they made a point not to mention their major tablet competitor: Apple. In terms of branding, a much smarter move.
Time (and device releases) will tell whether confidence or deference will win the day in the Amazon-Barnes and Noble tablet war. But so far, the Amazon unveiling has my vote for PR savvy.