Friday, February 08, 2008

Profiting from the default? Risky proposition...

While searching for a link to place on the book "The Brand Gap" in my previous post, i googled the term, almost assured that the top result would take me to an page.

Here's what I got instead -

The top result is a "Google Books" (not linked intentionally) page. Not only is it not presented as an advertisement (which is what it is), but its presented much more neatly than the Amazon search result.

Google Books has a page rank of 8, Amazon has 9. Amazon had 40 customer reviews of this book and searchable pages. Google has none of this - and yet, it deserves to be the "default result"?

The primary reason why Google has been such a success is because it played right with the smart users, the "mavens" as the Tipping Point calls them, and their word of mouth helped its exponential growth. Microsoft, on the other hand, profited immensely from the lazier lesser mortals who accepted the "default" - be it the default browser or the default word processor and didn't bother to give its competing products a look.

Sure, it works, as long as you believe the world is ignorant. Unfortunately, it isn't, and bad publicity spreads faster than good. Beware!

Are the default options in your product driven by your needs or your consumer's?

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