Monday, April 20, 2009

Ask Jeeves

After a couple years off, Jeeves the Butler is returning to Ask.com and will serve as their branding. Further, Ask is reverting to its original name, Ask Jeeves, in an effort to cement said branding and establish itself as the search engine with something different.

Ask Jeeves originally used a question-phrasing platform for searches, like Answers.com does today. The user expressed a literal question and Jeeves "answered it" by returning pertinent search results with further information. Ask Jeeves dropped the cartoon character in 2006 and underwent several radical changes in attempts to capture some of the search market share from Google - none of which worked. Jeeves has also received a "facelift" for his re-employment.

While spokespeople for Ask deny they are hurting, citing a 20% increase in usage, industry experts refute the denial. Google has a whopping 90% share of the search market and all other engines are struggling for a piece of the remaining 10%. In short, everyone but Google is hurting.

One expert went further in noting that Ask "shot itself in the foot" by rebranding and "trying to be more like Google." Speaking to the BBC, Peter Matthews of Nucleus branding and digital consulting said, "Ask Jeeves was quite a strong brand... Ask without Jeeves lacked character."

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

1 comment:

ManoDogs said...

Whoops! Changed title from misspelled "Jeeevs."
- ed.