I was reading through this week’s articles for my Marketing Management class, when I came across a paragraph that I think gets to the heart of what I wrote in my last post about the Kindle.
<blockquote>In developing a position for a new product, management first discovers the range of benefits or attributes consumers use to make choices in the product category. Second, it identifies key consumer segments within the overall market for the product. Third, management evaluates, on the basis of experience and/or market research data, the relative importance of each benefit to each segment.</blockquote>Although the Kindle is not a new product, I think its success will ultimately be determined by the decisions that Amazon makes on how to position it in response to the iPad.  If they position it to compete directly with the iPad, I think they lose.  If they position it carefully to offer the most value to a niche (though large) segment, enthusiastic readers, I think they can do well.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that Amazon’s announced plans to launch a Kindle App Store bode well for the device.  The press release even mentions two planned Kindle apps that I think are better left to smartphones and dedicated devices: EA mobile games and a Zagat guide.

P.S. Marketing is a lot more interesting than I expected.