Digital media is very popular today, and e-readers are some of the most successful examples of such products on the market. Many different brands of reader are available, including Kobo e-Reader, from Kobo Inc. The Toronto company have been trying to make their offerings viable in the wake of all of the competition on the market. Some of their chief rivals are the Nook, and of course, the powerhouse on the block, Amazon's Kindle.
The company saw that many of the others out there were offering expensive e-readers. The company felt that they would be able to enter the market and be able to offer a comparable product at a better price. By offering a minimalist option, they felt they could gain a niche in the market when they released their first e-reader in 2010. The company was partially owned by Indigo Books and Music up until 2012, when the sale to Rakuten was finalized.
While the company has had some trouble competing with the likes of Amazon and Sony in some areas of the world, they are the dominant form of e-reader in Canada. Since the purchase by Rakuten, which is a company very similar to Amazon, they've done well in other areas of the world too. They have a higher market share in France, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. They have done better than many people have given them credit for.
Additionally, they are offering more than just e-readers now, which is helping them to tap into even other markets.
Currently, Kobo is offering several different e-readers, as well as tablets, under the Kobo brand. They have readers such as the popular Kobo Touch, their traditional model, and an illuminated reader called the Kobo Glo, which is perfect for those who want to read in less than ideal lighting conditions. Kobo Aura and Kobo Aura HD are highly popular as well.
The company offers more than just the physical e-readers and tablets though. They also have applications for most devices, such as smartphones and other tablets. These applications will allow readers to download and buy books from Kobo. The app does not all for in app purchases, but it is possible to buy on another platform and then to download it to the device and read it on the go. This is yet another way they are making money - they earn on each book sale for their platform. It is also a way that they are helping to boost their brand recognition.
Some customers enjoy their experience with the application, and when they decide that they want to buy an actual reader, they choose Kobo, since they already have books they've purchased that are ready for the platform.
Many have wondered why they would choose to call their company and their device Kobo. When people unravel the answer, it becomes quite simple. Kobo is an anagram of the word book. Few other names would seem quite as fitting. Before they were Kobo, they had the name Shortcovers. Kobo, they determined was catchier, and they thought that it would have more appeal globally.
While Kobo might not have the same marketing power as Amazon, they do have Rakuten in their corner right now, and that will give their brand the marketing push and the strength that it needs to compete with Amazon in many territories today. Already, the company is seeing their brand grow stronger, even in areas once dominated by the Kindle.
One of the best things that Kobo has going for it is brand loyalty. Once people own a Kobo, they tend to be quite loyal for a number of different reasons. First, they have books in the correct format already. They also like the durability and features of the product. They've already spent time learning how to use Kobo devices as well, and people tend to gravitate toward brands they already know. Once they have a customer, Kobo tends to keep that customer.
The company has a powerful brand already, and with the help of Rakuten, this will only get stronger in the coming years. They already say that the only real competition they see is with Amazon, and not the other readers on the market such as the Nook and Sony's reader.