There is a very, very important lesson for Luxury real estate marketing professionals in the arena of e-book readers. Competing feature by feature with your competition such as integrity and market knowledge is an utter waste of time. The agent with the most extraordinary and inimitable promise of ADDED value has a better chance of winning.

Have you tried reading an e-book yet? So far it seems that the race is on for market leadership in the single purpose e-book arena between two major players:  Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

The two most popular single purpose e-book readers are B&N’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle.  However, both of these companies have Apps available for use on multi-purpose devices such as the iPad, smart phones, laptops and desktop computers.  But, if you are in the market for a single purpose e-book reader which one would you choose when the features on the devices themselves are basically the same and so is the price? 

Barnes & Noble has a wider selection of e-books.  But, it is only a matter of time that Amazon catches up.  At first, B&N had a book sharing policy that Amazon did not have as a way to differentiate itself. Then, Amazon announced a similar policy.   The reason that competing on features alone is such a worthless pursuit is because a feature is too easy to imitate. 

Not everyone has the same buying criteria. But, for us the Nook beat out the Kindle hands down with an extraordinary ADDED value proposition that Amazon simple cannot match.  First, it is a luxury for us to take our time and browse for books in our local brick and mortar B&N Store in Santa Barbara.  We can ask live humans questions and get instant help there.  Second you can read any e-book on your Nook for one hour via Wi-Fi while you are in the store.  Amazon has the “Look Inside” feature online that is now extremely limited by comparison. 

Our third reason is extremely important to note as a luxury real estate marketing professional. The store’s merchandise manager, Elliot Klement, took about one-half hour to help us set up our Nook account and give us a personal tour of the device.  This was extremely helpful since we were about to travel and did not have time to read the manual thoroughly. He also offered each of us a cappuccino “on the house” from Starbucks (within the store) while he personally affixed the reading pane’s clear protective cover that we also bought. 

We now have a relationship with Elliot in particular, not just B&N.  Elliot assured us that we could come in any time to ask him any additional question we might have, not just go to a series of FAQ’s online. These reasons may not be meaningful to some, but they speak volumes to us and many others like us who are seeking the perfect balance between online self-service and matchless in-person quality care, which is the essence of the traditional luxury buying experience.  



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