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Kobo Launches a Closed Focus Group: Kobo Insiders

Got something to say about Kobo, and don’t feel like shouting it on Twitter or Facebook? Then you might want to inveigle an invite to Kobo’s customer survey group.

kobo insiders

Back in April, Kobo quietly launched an "exclusive eReading research community" called Kobo Insiders. This is a place where Kobo tests its latest features, polls customers on their experiences, and generally asks the usual market survey questions most consumer-focused companies ask.

The community is open by invitation only, and so I can’t offer a first hand account. But we do know that Kobo says that members can:

  • Let Kobo know what they think about its products and their shopping experience with Kobo
  • Help Kobo understand what they want when looking for a new read or their experience using Kobo devices and apps
  • Chat with like-minded customers about reading, writing and different elements of your life
  • Preview new products and provide feedback

The April launch slipped by my radar at the time, but the topic did come up briefly on MobileRead and on Reddit. However, I’m still looking for a participant (or someone with an invite they could give me).

Have you gotten an invite? What did you think of the group?

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Maria (BearMountainBooks) August 21, 2015 um 3:48 pm

The group is okay. Standard surveys about once a month. They have a kind of forum (sort of, but it’s more like a feed style so comments get lost). They’ve had surveys about discounts, surveys about how many books you read and that sort of thing.

Barry Marks August 21, 2015 um 6:26 pm

I was once in a focus group like this with Audible, in the says before Amazon bought them. I have no idea if this will work like the one in Audible but it was by invitation only and the invitations weren’t transferable. They picked a few people from their own forum to participate in this and that was it.

We customers got to chat with each other and with various developers and officers at Audible, including a number of department heads. It was pretty obvious that they cared about our opinions and when one of us had a negative view of one of their proposals they probed that pretty deeply. Sometimes they’d try to sell us on their point of view but I think they were more interested in learning about it than changing it.

Of course this was Audible, a very customer oriented company even in the days before Amazon bought them. I’m not sure if people in other companies, and especially Kobo and Rakuten, would take their customers that seriously. Hopefully they would but I’d be a little surprised.


Maria (BearMountainBooks) August 21, 2015 um 9:57 pm

That’s pretty much what the surveys are doing–asking about various positive and negative experiences. Asking which promos are the best. They had some questions about their logo and whether it conveyed this or that. It’s a friendly environment and they seem quite interested in how many books we read, whether we like their checkout process and so on. It’s not terribly active. I’ve been in one other focus group and they had more activities, especially at first (it was once a week or so). I think most of the focus group places have settled into a "once a month is the sweetspot."

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