Technology Marketing: Did Google Jump the Shark?

Stay true to your brand while listening analytically to customer feedback.

When Google’s famously minimal home page was taken over by an animated ad for the tech giant’s Nexus 7 Android tablet many customers took to twitter to voice their opinions. Some saw it as complete disregard for simplicity—one of the hallmarks of the Google brand. Some felt this would never had happened on Melissa Mayer’s watch.

This is the third time Google advertised on its homepage but it is certainly the most garish—and the reactions from fans and critics were mixed. Some had no problem with it, capitalism at its finest. So, did Google “Jump the Shark?”

“Jump the Shark” is a reference to the TV character Fonzie (Happy Days) jumping over sharks…in his leather jacket…on water-skis. Clearly the writers ran out of ideas for the show.

Only time will tell if this move by Google did permanent damage to the brand. Just remember:

The customer is king.
Customers have a vested interest in the brands they are loyal to and will speak out, usually via social media outlets like twitter, when they have a problem. Now this is certainly more evident with consumer brands but technology companies can still find out what their customers are saying. Speak to the people on the front lines, your sales and customer service reps. The feedback they get from customers and channel partners can help you avoid a PR nightmare or, even worse, lost revenues.

The king doesn’t know everything.
Henry Ford put it this way, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Avoid reacting to every bit of criticism you get from your customers. You’ll drive yourself crazy.

Stay true to your brand.
It’s important to keep your business and brand strategies in mind when taking input from customers. Keep an eye on the big picture and react accordingly. Companies that change direction to do what a competitor is doing or to satisfy a customer complaint will lose their way. If your company’s strategic plans are sound you should be able to avoid marketing missteps.

It’s too early to tell if Google “Jumped the Shark.” Five years from now this incident may be forgotten or it may be the moment we all look back and say, “Yep, that’s when it happened.”

Tell me what you think or about another brand that “Jumped the Shark?”

Jump the Shark


Chris Fuller
About Chris Fuller

For over 20 years, as a partner of thinkdm2, a digital branding and marketing agency, I have helped simplify marketing for many clients. Intelligent Systems can be quite complicated, and marketing them even more so. I enjoy making the complex simple. My blog, Simplexity, is an attempt to put my experience to use for Intelligent Systems Marketers.

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