It is one of any marketers ultimate goals – making a consumer loyal to a particular brand. How does one go about turning potential, current, or even competitors customers into their own loyal customers. This question is asked by marketers alike all over the world. To answer these questions we will be looking at Google.
Google is the largest website (traffic wise) on the Internet to date but what keeps people coming back to Google over and over again instead of Yahoo or Live? Is it the sheer simplicity and ease-of-use? Is it a comfort factor? Is it because of relevant results? The list can go on and on of possible reasons as to why people choose to use Google over other search engines on the Internet.
One thing is for sure though, Google was not the first engine on the Internet but it is definitely the most successful. In order to understand the success of Google we need to look at consumer behavior. In the early days of Google while it was just a small company (and even before it became a company), Google started to gain recognition from some rather large and important companies and people. This recognition helped catapult Google into the mainstream, but it certainly was not what kept people coming back. The first thing you notice when you visit Google is that the site design is extremely simple and well laid out. If you look at the Google site design today and compare it to the design in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s it is still relatively the same. There haven’t been any major overhauls in design at all. What does this mean to a consumer? Well, it shows consistency and reliability. This leaves a good feeling in the consumers mind knowing that they do not have to worry about change or learning something new. In comparison to Live and Yahoo (which are constantly changing) this is a welcoming feeling.
But it isn’t just about looks. Functionality is important too. When it comes to a search engine the most important thing is to have relevant search results. Of course, the term relevancy is subjective and each person has their own opinion, however, in the case of Google from what I have seen is that people use Google itself to help determine what is relevant. For example, search “Computer help” on Google and then on Yahoo – the results are different, but which one is more relevant? Well, all opinions are based on something and when it comes to relevant search results most people base their opinions on Google’s results. This of course generally turns out in Google’s favor.
The fact that “Google” is now considered a word in the dictionary shows the sheer power and influence the company has on our lives. To “Google” something means to search it using the Google search engine, however, it is not uncommon to replace Google with the word Search completely no matter where you may be searching. We as consumers are extremely comfortable using Google to find information – we trust them. Google has built an online empire with so much influence and power yet we still trust them (or at least most people do). The loyalty we show to Google as consumers is in my opinion more so than any other company out there. Essentially we are providing them with all kinds of information from surfing habits, credit cards, personal information, and so on so they can target us with advertising but most people do not seem to care. It is truly amazing.
How does Google keep users loyalty? There are a number of different factors involved and it goes from the reliability/relevancy of both the website and search results, the consistency, the comfort factor, and the what I believe to be a dependent factor – we rely on Google so much.
As I mentioned before the website has been essentially the same design since it’s initial beta launch. Consumers like consistency – when a product works well all the time we hate when it doesn’t or isn’t the same. Google has done a phenomenal job at filtering out and ranking websites in their results to keep them as relevant and reliable as possible and while of course nothing is foolproof Google is definitely good enough and getting better. Again, consumers like reliable products. Additionally being comfortable with a product is key, no consumer will use or buy something they are not comfortable with. Google has built a product which is safe, reliable, and relevant to people’s needs. They have created a solution to the need of finding information online better than anyone else. Because of those reasons we have built a dependence on Google to find information and without it we (consumers) would most likely be lost online.
Google’s customers are some of the most loyal customers in the world. By looking at Google you can learn a lot about maintaining customer relationships by providing satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is a vital part of creating loyal customers for a specific brand. Additionally, having a product that works, people feel comfortable using, and has a positive connotation contribute to the loyalty.
Why do you use Google? Leave a comment!