Insight RoundUp: Feb 27

February 27, 2009sparxoo_admin

Gmail Outage: Need More to Derail Their Train

By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writerinsight_roudup_2_23_headline.jpg

What Happened

This week we saw quite a range of emotion from Gmail users. When the lights went out at the mail service (2/24), some users panicked, others said, Holiday, while some didn’t even notice. No matter what your response to Gmail’s outage, there exists a fundamental question: What are the implications of the outage?

What Does it Mean?

As we saw this past week, Google is not infallible (though many of us think so). It had, what many are calling, a hiccup. The Gmail servers went black. Does this tarnish the future of cloud computing for Google? The “what ifs” are frightening if the cloud one day evaporated and all personal information and software vanished.

What if Gmail’s hiccup caused the deletion of several accounts? Would Google’s cult-like following migrate to another provider? We think that users would cut them some slack. Given the little criticism of the outage, Google’s mission of organizing the worlds information is still intact. Why?

Still the Gold Standard

Google is the gold standard of the tech and every other industry. It has built a strong brand equity. It has such a strong following with nearly unrivaled consumer loyalty, an outage is just a little, benign blip on the radar. Google has made a handful of questionable moves (copyright infringement, invasion of privacy (Gmail, Maps)) but in every case has come out on top. Though there have been many controversial moves by the search giant, there is an entrenched cult-like user-base to the brand.

The Take-Away

So how did Google develop such a steadfast consumer-base? From the get-go, they laid a solid foundation of delivering what users wanted in a transparent and straightforward manner. And built upon that foundation is innovation, forward-thinking, accessibility and resourcefulness. The benefit of a loyal user base that is emotionally attached to your brand? When you make a mistake, your customers will stay on your side and show patience as you work through challenges.