Google+ Consumer Psyche: Wave's brand disruption


Friday, June 12, 2009

Wave's brand disruption

Many people think Google breaks the brand model with no advertising on its homepage, no advertising directly but both these measures are merely symbolic. Google may have inspired what many see as a form of brand disruption, is game changing and is somehow Schumpeterian, it is a behemoth brand utilising both the common architecture associated with a monolithic brand as well as exhibiting a traditional set of values not unlike Apple and Virgin.

Similarly, you could argue that Google has unlimited potential as a brand and its brand extensions merely reflect this. However, while Google is a highly successful company but with 97% of its revenues coming from web advertising and 68% of that from advertising on its own websites, it is still very much a single proposition company.

Look at the performance and what I see as the eventual fate of Yahoo. Like Google, nearly all of Yahoo’s revenue comes from search and display advertising. Since Google’s 2004 float Yahoo has been losing share in search and though Yahoo is still the second most popular search engine, its searches are inferior. While Yahoo’s content continues to attract users for the moment, its search traffic is secondary to choice of Yahoo as a portal. The problem is that while content from the portal generally helps generate search traffic, yet without either distinctive content (everyone accepts that content is no longer a competitive advantage) and superior search, Yahoo is going to decline. What is best described, as Yahoo’s kitchensink approach to both content and feature development, is not dissimilar to that of Google’s. In this market, 'innovation' is a very tired word. Yahoo has Flickr. Google Picasa. Yahoo has Finance. Google Finance. Yahoo has Mail. Google Gmail and now Wave. Yahoo has Groups. Google Groups. Now just think of Google’s failures with News, Lively, Orkut and Knol and then apply that to a similar Yahoo’s list of failures or better still AOL, its hard not to draw the conclusion that the direction for both brands is anywhere but down.

--- Marketing Mag

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