The purpose of this report is to develop effective marketing strategies for Interead’s new and exciting electronic book reader, the Cool-er. By conducting a thorough situational analysis, doing a SWOT and defining marketing objectives along with a budget, it is easy to develop such marketing strategies. Please find in this report the previously mentioned along with the corresponding research and new ideas.
An addition to the second part of this report is the media plan, media buy and blocking chart.
1. Discussion of the total market
The Cool-er, by Interead, is an e-reader device which allows consumers to read e-books. The consumer e-reader market was first established in April 2004 with the release of the Sony ‘LIBRIé’ in Japan. Following Sony’s release there has a number of e-reader releases, which include devices by Amazon, Samsung, Hanvon, and Interead. The e-reader market is just making its move from the introductory stage to the growth phase. This market has seen exponential growth in Canada within the last 4 ½ years; Amazon.com currently has three e-readers on the Canadian market: Kindle, Kindle 2, and their newest release, Kindle DX. Sony, the other large player within the Canadian market, launched two readers in August of this year.
According to a survey conducted by Forrester Research, the number of consumers who said they intend to purchase an e-reader within the next six months has increased to 6% in their second quarter of 2009. This number has tripled when compared to the same quarter last year. Additionally, Forrester is also forecasting e-reader sales of 3 million units in 2009 and 13 million units in 2013. Lastly, NDP Group recently conducted a survey and discovered 37% of US consumers were interested in owning an e-reader3.
However, e-readers have not been widely accepted as of yet. In NDP Group’s research 40% of consumers were not interested in owning an e-reader. Some of the reasons for this were: some preferred the look and feel of actual books, others wanted colour, while some were not interested because there was no magazine and/or newspaper option3.
Below is Forrester Research: Drivers of Growth for E-readers:
Because of the potential for improvement, additional services, and increased content the e-reader market will continue to grow. Figure provided by: Lardinois.
2. Key Competitors
Since 2005, the e-book reader market has been seeing steadily increasing competition with more new entrants with competing devices, formats, and features every year. Competing lines of devices come from electronic giants such as Sony and Samsung, and also smaller upstarts in partnership with Chinese manufacturers such as Jinke and Hon Hai Precision Industries.
Almost all brands utilize electronic ink technology in a similar fashion, but aside from that the offered features of any one device may vary widely from another. There is a long list of possible formats to obtain an e-book in, and so far none has been adopted as the clear standard for e-readers. Many of them have a format unique to them and their dedicated online marketplace content, but support a few additional formats such as PDF and TXT.
Sony, Amazon and the Cool-er all tout dedicated online e-book stores. Selection varies and no one store is all encompassing, but they act as a good starting point and resource for e-reader owners. The Kindle store is accessible wirelessly through certain Kindle models. The Sony book store requires free software to use. The Cool-er store does not provide e-books solely for the use with the Cool-er itself. Aside from those, there are dozens of smaller independent e-book retail sites and publishers.
Other points of distinction and competition are technical specs such as screen size, weight and storage capacity. The Cool-er has a six inch display, but weighs considerable less than competitors