Thursday, January 05, 2006

Al Ries Sees Google's Real Strength

Al Ries has posted a new column with Ad Age where he discusses Google's success and brings it back to what the company does best: search.

"Search," says Al, "is its "mousetrap," which essentially refers to a product or service's ability to keep people coming back for more."
Is marketing success simply about being better, or is it about representing an excellent product? Or both?

Actually, Ries says, "It's more about being first to market. The first to bring a product to market is then faced with the task of fending off other competitors by protecting its product through fierce marketing."

Of course, the brand must also focus on improving its product, but rather than trying to enter a market by doing things better, the key to marketing a product well is solidifying its first-to-market qualities in the minds of consumers.

However, it should I think not go unmentioned that there were plenty of companies around before Google who were offering search. But after Google hit the scene with its dramatically better search capability and better business model execution, everyone else is playing catchup. I think Google has done an incredibly good job of marketing, but not with traditional media. They are masters of everything viral.


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