In the money circus we call the global economy; there are a lot of big, successful consumer market businesses. However, there are only a select few that have really excellent and powerful brands. The truth of the matter is whenever somebody is trying to sell you something; it is human nature to become skeptical. It is natural to fear that you may pay too much, or be tricked into buying a poor product.
It is truly remarkable then how some big businesses such as Toyota or Coca-Cola have built exceptional brands with years of product consistency and quality marketing. I still can’t even begin to stress the importance of quality marketing. See here what it did for Apple.
I had all of this in the back of my mind as I was beginning work on a new project for one of my clients. I decided to search for a list of powerful brands to see if I could find some inspiration.
Before I even typed my search keywords, I realized I was staring inspiration right in the face.
Without a doubt in my mind, Google has one of the strongest brands in the world. The term “Google it” has become an official part of the English language. Yahoo may currently sit at #1 in Alexa’s page rank, but Alexa counts each of Google’s country specific pages separately. Google is the biggest thing on the Internet.
There are a couple reasons for this. The big one, the one that makes Google’s huge success and $16 billion revenues possible, is that the factors that drive Google’s brand image are completely separated from its advertising derived source of income.
Google’s actual product is high quality advertising space, which is opened to the highest bidder, creating a market where advertisers bid up the price, which in turn maximizes revenue. Advertising based businesses, whether they have been newspapers, magazines, or television networks have always been about creating the best possible content to create impressions which can be sold to advertisers.
Google’s unique and powerful branding exists because the company has changed the traditional model of creating impressions with content, such as information or entertainment. Google creates their impressions by offering free high quality services. Here is a video that demonstrates Google’s strong brand image of the website that has “ridiculously innovative useful free stuff.”
One point I am trying to make with all of this, is that the Internet and its slew of advertising based web businesses, are much easier to market than businesses that follow a traditional sales model. These businesses don’t have to worry about pricing, only creating high quality products. This is turn has created what I believe is only the very beginning of a new era. The future will bring us countless new and innovative free web based services.
Before there was YouTube, Digg, and Twitter, the Internet had already changed the world. Now, it’s in the process of changing our economy as we know it. As we find new ways to use the Internet to improve human communications and the quality of life, we will get to watch as companies try to figure out their place in a highly interactive digital world. Marketers pushing conventional products are already adapting to the possibilities offered by online video and social networking.
Perhaps my overall message is one of encouragement. The opportunity exists for literally anybody can create a strong branded Internet company. This is the primary reason that I am tired of negative speculation regarding the upcoming election and bleak outlook on the global economy. The Internet has gone a long way into providing entrepreneurs with the opportunity to equalize income inequality.
Even if you ignore the Internet, I still can’t understand the bleak economic outlook.
While the price of oil may be high, which will make a short term dent in our wallets; it will also serve to drive long term investment into alternative sources of energy. Anybody who thinks in a few years it still won’t be profitable to mass market solar panels is nuts. From where I sit, I see an economically prosperous future where technology dramatically improves the quality of life.
Did I gradually drift off topic? Yes. Do I think the Internet is going to save the world? Yes.