An excellent lesson can be learned by luxury real estate marketing professionals, both for personal and company branding, by looking at Microsoft’s latest change in their search engine brand. Prior to Microsoft’s recent re-branding and re-engineering, MSN was languishing in a very distant third place and was losing market share to #1 Google and #2 Yahoo. Now, Microsoft’s new Bing is making gains and has a fighting chance to significantly increase market share. What is Microsoft’s new strategy? It can be summed up in three words: NARROW YOUR FOCUS!
Microsoft has basically conceded to Google. It may never catch up to this iconic break-away search engine brand. But, they have done a brilliant job of identifying four niches in which they believe they can surpass Google and Yahoo, something they can do better than anyone else in the world of search engines. Those niches are Travel, Shopping, Health and Local Search.
Why these categories? Each one commands high traffic and also high advertising rates; advertisers compete aggressively for pay-per-click ads here. By focusing on these four lucrative search sweet spots their profit margins will increase. The economic driver is higher advertising revenue per click-through. If they can provide a better user experience in these particular niches, they are betting that they can get Google and Yahoo loyalists to switch brands when they need to search these categories.
Microsoft decided on the name Bing because it has just four letters, it is easy to remember, and also because it has the potential of becoming synonymous with searching for Travel, Shopping, Health and Local Search. Notice that Microsoft already uses Bing as a verb in their ads. To Google or to Bing? That is the question that Microsoft must wedge into the minds of those searching in these categories, if they hope to gain defectors.
How can you, as a luxury real estate marketing professional, narrow your focus and serve a particular niche better than anyone else in your marketplace?