Google Is Getting Too Big For Me. (0)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007 by , under ,

Google recently announced that it would be jumping to mobiles, offering its Gmail application in a super-efficient, feature rich format for cellphones. Great idea? Yeah, great idea. And as of today, Google will now also be delving in cellphones with its new "Android" package.

Allow me to add an "It's just that"(tm)

I think Google has come up with functional and undoubtedly popular ideas up to now, and it wouldn't be adventurous to say that they started the wave responsible for generating what we now call Web 2.0. It's just that (tm) purely speaking on brand equity terms, my feeling is they need to take care of their image as well. Techwise, they're going a long way. But brandwise, I don't know what to think of Google right now. I just know that as a consumer, as The Shopper, I'm feeling less and less comfortable with them.

On the Microsoft vs. Apple scale (saying these two were extremes, and I guess they somewhat are), I wouldn't know where to place Google. Maybe in the middle. Maybe closer to Microsoft. Actually, quite close to Microsoft. Good for a business, bad for a brand. Popularizing the notion of dominating a category doesn't seem to be such a good thing these days. It is my perception that Shoppers are now actually looking for "micro-efficiency": very specialized things that do a lot. Small giants. And branding is in large part responsible for that.

ING Direct is my fave example of a small giant. It looks and sounds simple. It's clever. It doesn't give out the perception that it's trying to rule the world. It stays sympathetic, and on a people-level. It's communication and branding makes me believe that the banking services they are offering are simple to use, and are better (and different) than the competition's, on comparable grounds. Apple used to do that, now they're more product focused. Watch out Apple, watch out.

Will I use Google's Gmail mobile app? Maybe. But if a Flooz (tm) mail application ever comes out, with a big, bubbly, bold green icon and tells me something like Web Mail Has Never Been Smarter, I will most definitely jump on it. Because it gives me the perception that it's exclusive, simple, and specialized.

Conclusion? If you're going to take over the world with a great idea, do it and act big. But don't forget that being small will always be beautiful.

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