I was thinking about Google today- actually this posted started off as a reply to a thread about rich people being full of shit, in a webmaster forum. The conversation prompted me to right about something that crossed my mind during the day.
Yes someone with great management skills can manage a large company. He has to have people under him with an intimate knowledge and love of the product. No mater how well the company is managed, if the product isn’t being bought again and again because customers love it, the business will struggle. Against ones with products created by those who create a better product.
I started to wonder is there really any brand affection for Google or is it- as are many other Internet products, mere utilities.
For instance, I have fond memories of produscts like Coca Cola and Nike simply beacause of memorable advertisements which stir memories of a time in my life, and using the product, as Pavlovian as that might sound.
Sites like Twitter and Google- Facebook- will they ever really connect to the public in the same way- or is consumer society so different now that brand loyalty and affection is less important than brand awareness. This should be a golden age of technology commercials- not just Microsoft commercials, but Google and Twitter, and Facebook. They should all have jingles.
For instance, today Google posted on their homepage a link to their new tablet, the Nexus &. Looks like a perfectly decent gadget that I wouldn’t mind owning. Then I read the copy. I read words like Android, Play, and Google Play. The word Play was used, I’m assuming, because they are positioning the product as something of a toy for grown-ups, or anyone who can afford it.
When I see the words Android and Play, I think about Star Wars figurines. That’s the psychological connection my mind made when I saw this pitch. It’s like Android->Google Play->play->play with droids->watch Star Wars->Star Wars is cool->I’m a geek if I like Star Wars->There are lots of people like me who like Star Wars->There are lots of geeks. It’s not the same for everyone, but eventally, the line of thinking should lead you to buy a Nexus 7.
This is where a company like Apple though has been able to outshine the competition. Apple may be the one technology company with which the buying public has genuine love for the product. So how will the Nexus do against the Ipad- I don’t know- don’t really care- but the name Ipad is certainly more catchy, identifiable, and much friendleir than Nexus 7. Microsoft has the same deficiency. I don’t love Windows. I don’t love Microsoft Word. I don’t have fond memories of using either products. I still use them. You don’t have much of a choice. One of the pleasures of consumer products is the freedom to choose. When you think about it- Google itself is more a means to an end, a middleman, and somewhere along the line between customer and what the customer desires, the affection for Google is lost.
For example, people love TV shows- who gives a shit whether the show is on ABC, NBC, or CBS? They’d like you to believe their network makes your favorite show great, but it doesn’t. On the other hand, you have a network like MTV, which is the exact opposite. Now some people may think of NBC with warm feelings in their heart- Jack Benny and you know, Steve Allen, whatever. The point is, MTV became an entity. When you watch MTV you are watching MTV- whatever show you watch is second to watching MTV. You could be watching The Real World or Jersey Shore, or The Hills, or music videos, as the case may be.. You’re still watching MTV. What are you doing? I’m watching MTV. What are you doing? I’m watching NBC. See the difference? The latter doesn’t sound right. You’d be like O RLY? The correct response is, I’m watching 30 Rock- or Seinfeld, or whatever.
Think of a light bulb, perfectly useful electrical appliance. It was invented by Thomas Edison purportedly. He didn’t invent the concept of illumination. Generally speaking, it’s electricity and the lamp which make the device viable and in some instances, beautiful. Technology companies should be more like flower vases and not lightbulbs, both things being remarkable in their own right, the flowers and the vase complimenting each other. These companies should compliment the information which they traffic. It’s the difference between being the news and the paper it’s printed on. Be the news. Be new. Don’t be toilet paper.