For most people today, the word search is synonymous with the word Google. Meaning if you asked anyone today, what is Google, the answer would nearly always be – ”a search engine”.
Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO states that Google is a ”Search, Ads and Apps” company. But what he fails to mention within those simple three words, is that Google is also home to over 120 Google products and services. Some like Google Maps, Gmail, Google News and You Tube are huge Google brands. But many other Google brands like Google Grants, Google Feedburner & Google Fast Flip are simply lost deep inside the Google department store.
Location based services which is currently the next big thing in Social Media, is also an area which Google is struggling to create a simple stand alone brand. Sites like Foursquare, Gowalla & Loopt, are the big new brands of Location based services, but for Google their Location based portfolio is all over the place. There is Google Maps, Google Places, Google Latitude, Google Transit & Google Buzz? Which Google location brand should a user go to first?
Google seriously needs to look towards their great competitor Microsoft and learn how they turned a whole suite of inter-related products, such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint & Outlook, into the biggest PC Software brand of all time – Microsoft Office. Google would be better served today if they took the Microsoft Office brand approach and placed a whole roster of key inter-related products into key Google brands.
For example all search related products like Google Scholar, Images, News, Video, etc should all be tied into the’ Google Search’ brand. The Google Apps for Businesses brand should be changed to’ Google Office’, with productivity brands like Google Picnik & Google 3D Warehouse also integrated inside.
A new ‘Google Social’ brand should also be introduced featuring key brands like You Tube, Blogger, Orkut, Google Buzz and the forthcoming Google Me service. Plus of course Google should set up a simple ‘Google Local’ brand which would incorporate Google Maps, Google Places, Google Transit & Google Latitude.
Google would be better served by developing a number of key Google brands, which would not only be featured at the top of their main homepage, but can also be the special Brand homes, for new products and services that are released. If Google wants to create another ‘cash cow’ like Google Search, then they should try and launch new and more better focused ‘Google Brands’.
Brand Google! Less is more!