Google Brand Strategy

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Executive Summary
This paper will give you an inside look as to how Google Inc. has evolved into a multi-billion dollar empire since it was first developed in 1996 by two Stanford University graduates working out of a garage. The paper will also compare Google to its strongest competitors in the search engine, web advertising and mobile phone industries. The paper will also reveal what the key elements to success are in those industries. The paper will also detail the resources and key competencies that Google has to make them the leading internet search engine with over 60 percent of market shares. The paper will also discuss the business model and strategies used by Google to help them become one of the fastest growing companies in history. The paper will also touch briefly on some of the threats and weaknesses they face in the marketplace. The paper will also include a recommendation to Google’s top management to help them sustain its competitive edge and financial success in the industry.

Background History and Company Growth
In 1996, Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin teamed up to develop a new search engine they named BackRub. They chose this name because of the engines ability to rate websites in relevancy based on metatags and keywords. Backrub was quickly gaining popularity and in 1998 Yahoo’s cofounder, David Filo talked Brin and Page into leaving school to put their focus making Backrub a major part of Yahoo. Backrub was later named Google, which was taken from the word googol. Googol is mathematical term for a number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros. The founder of Sun Microsystems was the first person to invest in Google with $100,000 in August of 1998 which raised $1 million by the end of September. Google was named “Top 100 Web Sites and Search Engines for 1998” by PC Magazine and was recorded successes at record pace. Google saw potential for profits in other segments of the market and made innovative ideas to gain market share. In 2000, their innovations included wireless search technologies, search capabilities in ten languages, and Google Toolbar browser. Google expanded its product line again in 2004 with the launch of Google News, Google Product search, Google Scholar and Google Local. Google’s index of web pages also grew to more than 8 billion and increased its country domain to more than 15. Google then entered the mobile phone market in 2004 when they created a feature allowing users to text a search request and Google would provide results to the search. Google Earth was created in 2005, which was later enhanced in 2010 when it included an Earth View mode allowing users to view 3D images of various locations at ground level. Between 2005 and 2010, Google also added Book Search, Music Search and Video Search. Google created features for its website to include Gmail software, web-based calendar, web-based documents, spreadsheet applications and language translations to accommodate 51 languages. Discuss competition in the search industry. Which of the five competitive forces seems strongest? Weakest? What is your assessment of overall industry attractiveness? Google has been able to sustain its competitive advantage because of the strong relationships they have built with Internet users, advertisers and websites. In 2010, Google was the most visited website with more than 147 million internet users visiting their site on a monthly basis to search for information. Google’s management believes its strongest rivals are Microsoft and Yahoo, although market share rankings from June 2006, June 2009 and May 2010 showed Google has more than twice their competitors combined.

Yahoo was first founded in 1994 and in 2010 held the top third position for most visited search engine site. Almost any information available on the web can be viewed through Yahoo’s portal. Yahoo has many of the same features as Google such as, personal calendar, email, news,...
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