Kobo hopes social features will differentiate it from rivals

Kobo is looking to differentiate itself from other brands in the increasingly competitive e-reader market by focusing its marketing communications on the sharing capabilities of its devices.

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The e-reader manufacturer, which recently struck a deal to sell its devices at 750 WH Smith retail outlets, hopes its Reading Life service, where users can earn awards for encouraging others to read and also share quotes or passages via Facebook and Twitter, will give the brand edge against rivals like Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader.

A recent Kindle update also allows users to share the notes and highlights they make on e-books with others, while Sony’s Daily Edition reader is connected to a website where people can post their favourite book passages. Both readers brands focus their marketing communications on price and technical specifications rather than social features.

Kobo rolled out its multi-million pound UK launch campaign across outdoor and press last week, targeting “heavy book buyers” and highlighting its range of 1 million free e-books.

Further marketing activity will be launched in the lead up to Christmas. Independent mobile strategy, planning and buying agency Yodelmobile is handling the media campaign.

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