Barnes & Noble’s Digital Content Giveaway
This week has been a newsy one for Barnes & Noble. First, it was reported that the company may be rethinking its digital strategy and that might mean discontinuing the floundering Nook device business. Despite a rising tide in worldwide tablet sales that lifted the boats of powerhouses like Asus, Nook sunk in the all-important holiday quarter, selling fewer units than in the same period the previous year. And now B&N is exploring a sale of its network of 680 retail stores.
Perhaps in response to the poor sales, Barnes & Noble is now offering for a limited time $50 of digital content for buyers of its Nook HD+ tablet, a nine-inch Android tablet that is sold for $269.
If the reason that Nook tablets aren’t selling well (or well enough) is that people don’t want to pay for the content or that the content is too expensive or, even, that the device is too expensive, this would seem to be a good remedy. But is that the reason the Nook isn’t selling well?
The reason is “a failure of brand,” a Forrester Research analyst told the New York Times recently. Apparently, even though it’s the largest bricks-and-mortar bookseller in the U.S., the B&N brand is “very small” and the company hasn’t done much to expand it beyond its in-store, book-buying customer base.
One $50 giveaway probably won’t change this. If the company made that deal permanent, perhaps its brand would evolve and grow into the one known for the best value (read: lowest prices) – which is the exact space Barnes & Noble’s biggest rival now occupies.
Related: Why Barnes & Noble Should Copy Amazon to Save Nook
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Image Credit: Nook HD+ image via Nook Media Kit