Category Archives: Google+

Google+ = Brand Failure?

Want to be able to quickly judge the potential of a new brand? Take it through the brand discovery sequence:

  1. Can the brand grab the attention of potential customers?
  2. What’s the brand’s answer when people ask: “What is it?”
  3. When they know what it is, they ask: “Why should I care?”

The strength of the answers to those questions is a good indicator of the strength of the brand. How does Google+ handle the brand discovery sequence?


Gets your attention: Check.

Google is big. Almost anything they do and announce will get attention. When Google officially opened up Google+ to new users last week, they had to quickly close the doors again because response was overwhelming.

What is it? Google doesn’t really define it. Officially they are simply calling it the “Google+ project.”

Unofficially, it is a social networking project. More accurately, it is a social media channel. A new Facebook with more, and more polished, bells and whistles.

Why should I care?

From Google’s Official Blog, we get this:

“Today, the connections between people increasingly happen online. Yet the subtlety and substance of real-world interactions are lost in the rigidness of our online tools.

“In this basic, human way, online sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it.”

Translation: “Facebook is broken.” Yep, Facebook is so broken that 600 million people use it.

[For an excellent rundown of Google+ and all it’s features, see What is Google+]

Brand Failure

Google+ is supposedly a Facebook Killer. Anytime a business creates a “ ________ killer,” be wary. It’s a “me too” product created for selfish reasons. In this case Google wants to stick it to Facebook. They’re jealous that Facebook has become so big, and they’re worried Facebook will take over the slot as the number one website in the world.

This doesn’t mean that Google+ doesn’t have some good features and it’s not nicely built. Personally, I like the idea of Hangouts. But lots of great ideas end up in the trash pile of forgotten brands. Google Wave, Google Buzz, Google Sidewiki. All failed attempts by Google to go social. All that time, money and effort wasted away from their core competency.

In my opinion Google+ is a brand failure. It’s more evidence that worrying about your competition can distract your brand and tempt you into wasteful projects.

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