October 19, 2008

How you define your business changes everything – the Google example

I recently came across an interesting post on BrandSimple, which triggered this one.

Is Google stretching the limits of brand credibility with the launch of its phone?

The article is well written and makes a very valid point about businesses who go and cross the line of what is really their core business model to adventure themselves in side activities that can later fireback and damage their brand.

But I am thinking a business model and a brand is something that can evolve with time, and it is not uncommon to see a business centre its activity differently by redefining itself and it’s brand or brands. Therefore it really depends on how you are looking at a business. To go back to the Google example if you think Google is purely in the content business, then you may agree with Allen Adamson who posted this article on BrandSimple.
I don’t agree with him. Nothing personal. I think looking at Google and saying they are in the content business is an incorrect and a very short view of what the Google business and brand is about.
What is Google’s core business or at least was when they started is Search. So they are about
 indexing, searching, and bringing the result of your search to you. That led them quickly into indexing the planet (Maps are giant indexes in a way), and is leading them into the publishing side and naturally in the advertising side (which is no doubt their major source of revenue). Then you need to stay on top of the content generation game, and with Cloud Computing growing, Google launched Google Apps, facilitating online computing.
So Google is not really in the content business. Google does not really “make” content although it sometimes does.

Google is about searching, organising, facilitating, presenting and delivering content. Google is in the content delivery business.

So does it make sense to partner with mobile manufacturers and give your name to a phone software? Yes, absolutely. 
A phone is a mobile terminal. By doing that Google is securing THE ultimate delivery platform. A great way to ensure content is delivered all the way to mobile users. It is mission critical for Google and Google Apps to secure the mobile base.

There is more than one manufacturer working on the Android platform so one cannot say that Google is tied up with a particular hardware manufacturer.

As an aside HTC has done a really good job with the first Android phone (featured pics)

Check the Android T-Mobile page on HTC’s Website.
And the following Press Release on T-Mobile's Launch

Android is an OS similarly to Symbian or Windows mobile. Open Source it is based on a Linux and Java core and will rely heavily on developers bringing new applications to market. Calling it the Google phone is a good stretch that will provide the device with instant awareness and a fast adoption curve.

I can only applaud. The future will tell us how successful this strategy was.

For more technical resources check an independent fan site.

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