Google is certainly an amazing company that offers innovative and new ways to share information. Google’s a genius company with unbelievable ideas and, more importantly, the ability to transform those ideas into products and services. Just think of Google Search, Google Apps, Blogger, YouTube and so many other popular Web services. Underneath it all, Google is a software company; and this is where the problem may lie.
Strength – Google Features Rock
I’m not an expert on all Google offerings however try to keep up to date on the company. My particular interest with Google is in Search and specifically Search Engine Optimization (SEO) however I’m also a Google Apps user and make use of many of their other services.
For example, the features available with Google Apps is astounding and features are constantly being improved and added. In fact, I was at a Google Apps User group presentation a few days back and one user complained that there are too many updates.
I doubt that anyone could argue that Google’s service/product features are exceptional.
Weakness – Google Benefits are Unknown
Features are great however benefits are what sells products and services; people want to know what the benefits of using something are and don’t just want a massively long list of what a product or service can do. Professor Leonard Lodish summed up benefits vs features very well:
This is Marketing 101. People buy benefits, perceived value. They don’t buy features. Unless you can show how the feature relates to a benefit, it doesn’t do you any good. And it’s amazing how many big companies make that mistake.
Apple springs to mind immediately when thinking of a company that is expert at selling benefits even when features may be lacking. Apple is exceptionally good at telling consumers how a product will help them address a problem or improve how they do things. Unfortunately Google just isn’t good at communicating benefits.
Google vs. Apple Benefits Experiment
I decided to do a quick search using Google Search for both “iPhone Benefits site:apple.com” and “Google Android Benefits site:google.com”. I only wanted to see results from apple.com and google.com as I wanted to see just how easily a great Search Engine such as Google would find the benefits of these two mobile device related searches.
The experiment isn’t at all scientific and iPhone constitutes both hardware and software whereas Android is software alone. However, look at the search results as above, the first result returned in the Search relating to iPhone immediately shows that it is a benefits Page. The search for Android doesn’t show in the first three results that the benefits for Android will be shown.
The point really is that Google, although offering great features, is way behind when it comes to translating features into benefits. Won’t it be great when Google get around to really letting us know what benefits their many service and products provide.