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Name Redux: Owning Your Market

One more thought I my last couple of posts on names and brands. I stated in my last post that the Google brand was so omni-present that it actually became synonymous with the underlying service involved: web search. As a result everyone knows what i means to "Google" someone and when one talks about web search, immediate images of Google searches are conjured up.

So where does that leave the competition? Not in a good place. Yahoo has been struggling for its identity for a while. One of the reasons is that they no longer own their core offering - web search. Yahoo used to own its core offering, when the site was primarily a directory. But the web evolved beyond that, search came to be the preferred surfing method, Google grabbed that market and Yahoo got lost in the dust. Now it is a non-branded site propped up primarily by email users (i.e. the Yahoo "power user").

But Yahoo is not alone. Ask, Microsoft and many "vertical search" folks tend to spend a lot of time and money on products and marketing that are designed to compete with Google in the search space. But Google is the search space. This leads to the perverse result that when these competitors market around their search capabilities, they're actually re-enforcing the Google brand in the mind of the consumer. Is it any wonder that these past few years, with all of the resources spent by these competitors on products and marketing that Google's market share has actually increased.

The lesson here: if you want to do anything search related (vertical or otherwise), you need to call it something else. Otherwise, your better off investing your money in Google stock.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 3, 2007 1:48 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Locking Down a Name.

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