To Google or not to Google

… that is the question. And if you want an answer you might just have to Google it.

Google has hit out against what it claims is misuse of its name, sending letters out to media organisations requesting them to use the name correctly, according to reports.
The company is concerned that an increasing trend to use the name as a verb when applied to search – as in to google something – will lead to Google losing the value of its name.

In response, the company has requested people to use phrases along the lines of ‘I ran a Google search’ or ‘I’m conducting a Google.However, this can only be used when using the Google search engine and not any of its competitors.

Other brands to have seen their names become generic terms include Asprin, Escalator and Hoover.

In that case, I think I’ll wiki it instead. If this report is true (please let me know if it is) can somone please explain to me the implications of being such a huge market leader in a service field that the very act of using that service or a similar one brings your company brand to mind? How can that be bad? Hoover didn’t fail to Electrolux, and Aspirin didn’t hand market share to Tylenol (Panadol here in Australia) just because their name was ubiquitious and somehow a competitor was able to leverage that. Undoubtedly they lost customers ‘cos a better product came along. So much better in fact, that they were able to oust an incumbent who’s product/service name was synonymous with that product or service. That’s a tough thing to do.

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Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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