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December 12, 2006

When is a Brand Not a Brand?

MSFrontpage.jpgJohn Dobbs has a pretty frank blog post on “Make Marketing History” about the slow death of the Front Page brand name. Dobbs is writing in response to a post by the Scobleizer, who notes that the ghost of the brand name everyone loves to hate lives on in the code for The Microsoft Expression Web. This new product is a totally revamped version of Front Page, a program that seems to have been so problematic in the past that marketing even a vastly improved version was an impossibility.

ExpressionWeb.gifDodds points out that in the case of Front Page, “killing a brand” does not necessarily mean killing the product. It means repackaging it, possibly. And that’s not a good thing, because people are looking for a whole new experience. We sometimes seem to lose sight of the fact that when we create new brand names for new products, those products have to be radically different from their predecessors for the name to have resonance.

The brand has to actually be a brand.

Which brings me to an interesting tidbit: Doug Caverly, insightfully notes on the WebProNews blog, that ads for Firefox have recently appeared on Google’s home page stating that the popular alt browser is “optimized for Google.” An “optimized for Google” tagline has also been tacked to a version of IE7 as well, which appears on a few Google searches.

This is not just a little fishy, especially since both Google and Yahoo have “optimized” versions of IE7 that look pretty similar, leading one writer at Cybernet to note that “What's pretty funny is that the Google and Yahoo IE pages are obviously some sort of generic presentation that Microsoft gives to these partners. That goes to show how much effort the two companies really put into promoting their own 'specialized' versions of Internet Explorer 7."

So, has anything really been optimized...at all?

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Posted by William Lozito at December 12, 2006 2:21 PM
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1 Comment

I think the "optimized" versions of the browsers come with the search engines' respective toolbars.

And famed Googler Matt Cutts points out, in the midst of an "I know you are but what am I" post, that Google has now changed its IE7 page.

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