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search3With the holidays coming up there’s lots of chatter about how online and mobile price-checking and buying and comparing are making themselves felt in the retail arena. That’s as may well be, but in this year’s Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders List only one search engine showed up in the top-100 brands. In fact, only one other search engine showed up in the top-689 brands. Want to guess which brand was in the top-100? Don’t bother searching for that answer, it was Google. But you probably already guessed that.

There was a time when names like Magellan, Infoseek, Lycos, Ask Jeeves, HotBot, and Alta Vista would have sprung to mind. Some might have even shown up on our Loyalty Leaders List, but not any more. We’ve reached a point where technological innovation has outpaced most competitive marketing. Like virtually every other category, the ability to meet or exceed consumer expectations for what drives a category ends up determining the life – and death – of brands. Just as it has for search engines.

Category expectations are always set by the consumers who use a product or service, so we looked to see who’s using search engines. Well, on a typical day, 75-80% of adults use one. It’s a pretty even split between males and females, with men having a slightly higher usage rate than women. Younger people use search engines more than older folks, and there’s a high correlation between high degrees of usage and higher education and higher household income.

So which search engine is used most? Well if the Loyalty Leaders List rankings weren’t a hint, here’s some scary rankings of worldwide market share when it comes to search:

  1. Google         92.5%
  2. Yahoo             3.5%
  3. Bing                3.0%
  4. Baidu              1.5%

Those numbers haven’t scared off innovators, though. They’re out there trying to build new search engines that can exceed new expectations for the new consumer values that are always making themselves felt in categories. NowRelevant keeps search down to just the past 2 weeks and DuckDuckGo doesn’t track or personalize search.

And if you’re interested in what Facebook and LinkedIn are doing on the social side of things in the category, just paste this paragraph into the search box of your computer or mobile device! The search setting is always up to you.

(This piece first appeared as a “Thought Leaders” column in The Bulldog Reporter)

Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

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