Online mega retailer Amazon has once again pushed the boundaries of Private Brand to their very edge with the impeneding launch of their new Private Brand e-reader the Kindle Fire. The bold move demonstrates a unapologetic strategy that defines the Kindle as the National Brand that is aggressively trying to change and shape the market.
Amazon and the Kindle is competing as the BRAND on price, content, and commerce. The Kindle Fire, a 7-inch Wi-Fi only device, will retail for $199—less than half the price of the iPad, less than the 7-inch Private Brand Barnes & Noble Nook Color, BlackBerry Playbook, and HTC Flyer. The Kindle Fire comes with a 30-day free subscription to Amazon Prime, and a pre-installed Amazon shopping app. As well as a custom-built browser, Amazon Silk, which interfaces with EC2, Amazon’s cloud server, to optimize performance. In short the goal is to flood the market with devices at a low cost and make money on the content.
The Kindle will be available at Amazon channel partners: Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Radio Shack, etc and of cource Amazon.com, allowing them to leverage the Private Brand to drive sales and loyalty through multiple channels and even potential competitors. Impressive.
Reviews to date are positive and interestingly miss the Private Brand angle:
“The Fire gives me the features I want at a price point that’s less than half of the iPad 2. I can check my email, browse the Internet, maybe play a few games, most importantly, I can read magazines in color on a Kindle.” – Gizmodo
“At $199 the Fire is less than half the price of the Apple iPad, which starts at $499. It is the first tablet from a major company to seriously undercut the iPad in price.” – New York Times
“The Fire is the real deal and it’s going to disrupt the equilibrium of the existing market for media devices.” – Chicago Sun Times
“There’s a new mayor in Droidville. But this guy didn’t roll into town with pomp and circumstance. He strolled down Main Street and simply offered more than any other candidate, extolling a plan based on down-to-earth sensibility and affordability. Meet the Kindle Fire.” – Seeking Alpha