Google Credit Card Comparison
updated from moneysupermarket
Haha! Within seconds of posting about the antitrust moves being put on Google by various pinkos and commies, my attention was drawn to Google’s credit card comparison search, which has just launched in the UK.
First impressions? Well functionally it’s much of a muchness with existing players in the market. Where I reckon it falls down is in terms of branding and visuals.
It’s the kind of thing that exercises great debate between designers, marketers and usability experts. Is Money Supermarket a superior experience because of the power of its brand? Or is it down to the exciting, tactile design? Or is Google’s offering simply better because it isn’t accompanied by baubles and drop shadows and gloss?
Personally, I think that the visual flair and the brand are tied up with the experience. It’s not that I don’t trust Google, but Google as a brand still really only resonates as a way to access verticals, rather than a good vertical engine itself. Verticals and niches are, to me at least, all about domain expertise and experience and I rely on brand perception to tell me where to find that.
As Google races against Bing to operate in verticals like this, it will be interesting to see whether its brand will resonate outside its core function. I suspect not, and I really don’t know why the tech market is so fetishistic about this stuff. Would you buy Coke jeans, or Marlboro branded microwave meals? Brands that are malleable enough to cross boundaries are vanishingly rare – an honourable exception being Virgin, who work in everything from cruises to space travel.