Two major developments on the Internet this week

This week has been interesting for the Internet community for two reasons. One from a global perspective. The other from a closer at home Indian perspective. Let’s begin with the first one first. The following is an excerpt from a press release from Millward Brown – a leading market research firm ( :

LONDON, UK, 23rd April 2007 — The second annual BRANDZ™ Top 100 Most Powerful Brands ranking published in cooperation with the Financial Times was announced today by leading global market research and consulting firm Millward Brown. Google has risen to the top of this year’s ranking, taking the number one spot with a brand value of $66,434 million. This was followed by General Electric ($61,880 million), Microsoft ($54,951 million) and Coca-Cola ($44,134 million)

So Google beats GE, Microsoft and Coke for top honors. How’s that for a paradigm shift in customer’s appreciation of what drives brand value? Google shows a whopping 77% jump in brand value and moves up from 7th position just a year ago. To me this is testimony to the HUGE power of the Internet and equally importantly the power of word of mouth advertising which is largely responsible in making Google the front runner in search engine adoption.

The other big news took place today with AOL launching its India centric portal ( Offering a comlpete suite of services including free web-based mail, and messenger, the portal will compete with its global competitors Yahoo, MSN, Google, and Indian brand such as Rediff, Indiatimes, and Sify.

To make up for its late entry, I think AOL will be forced to offer better than market services to encourage switching by existing competitor customers and adoption by first timer users.  



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