Hooray! Diller Considers Rebrand of Ask Jeeves

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Source Title:
Diller: Ask Jeeves Might Get New Name
Story Text:

A MarketWatch story covering the D3 conference reports that Barry Diller has talked about rebranding Ask Jeeves to either Jeeves, or ASK. That would be a beautiful thing to see (assuming he chose Ask rather than Jeeves) as the stigma of such a ridiculous name seriously hampers the world's 4th Search engine in my opinion...

Comments

Perosnally....

I would choose Jeeves, as I think that is the only thing that keeps it afloat at the moment. 'ASK' would just consign it to the bland nonentities that are second and third tier search engines.

Branding it Jeeves would work from an aspirational angle and allow them to play with other services from your internet servant.

I think that the branding really comes from 'Jeeves' being everybodies internet servant, it makes people 'feel' that they are in charge not the technology. (The reality is that he should be able to lead people by the nose, even more than before.)

Non-techies

I think the Jeeves brand is targetted at non-techies. I think it does a good job at doing that.

*pout*

... but I like Jeeves!
;)

 

yeh, im aware that i stand somewhat alone in this view heh!

not quite

That would be a beautiful thing to see (assuming he chose Ask rather than Jeeves) as the stigma of such a ridiculous name seriously hampers the world's 4th Search engine in my opinion

I agree 100% with the above.

Plus, "Ask" is easier to pronounce, type (and seriously harder to pronounce wrong or type wrong). The term "Jeeves" is in itself nothing but a communication challenge, and for lots of people, even as a name, it contains no connotations and hence no built-in advantages. In all respects, "Ask" is just way better for marketing.

They could always split into two brands

and see which one does best.

I'd be soley tempted...

... to change it to "Just ASK"

Stigma of such a ridiculous name

Can anybody say Google?

The 'old' Jeeves management tried rebranding it as Ask a few years ago. Might have been their execution, but it didn't work.

allow them to play with other services from your internet servant

I can see this, but not sure how closely Diller would want to integrate his services with the same brand; though with the properties he has it would be simple enough to start a new service featuring Bertie's go-to guy.

Let Jeeves Sleep With The Fishes

Time to off the butler

new logo

I did manage to get a screen capture of the rebranded Jeeves. ;)

The Butler is very popular with women, especially older women, which seems to be the only market segment that they have ever captured. Getting rid of the Jeeves character would likely make them lose even that share.

Ask, and They Shall Receive

Ask = Short, simple, almost no possibility for typos, starts with "A", and perhaps most importantly: has a strong implied benefit.
Jeeves = Butler.

Gee, let me see, which is better. ;-)

It could very well be that the brand character of this entity, for the first time ever, begins to come into line with what IMHO is a pretty darned good SE. But I rarely go there because it's a long name if I'm typing into the browser bar, and who the heck wants to be distracted by a butler when searching for North American birds, motorbikes, apple pie, or whatever.

Oh yeah ...
AskJeeves = One of the greatest example of branding stupidity in the last 20-30 years.

Maybe just me

But I think doing away with Jeeves would lose their one point of differentiation in the uk market. And in the UK people have good awareness of it and until recently saw it as the third search engine. Havent we had this discussion before? ;O)

Hasnt it been ask.co.uk for ages in uk?

and ask.com

I always call it 'Ask' and type in ask rather than askjeeves, but the butler is instantly recognisable and, twee as it is, butlers go and do what you ask them to perfectly, it's much more successful than that msn butterfly or, er, what does Yahoo have? A guy who yodels?

Depending on who they're pitching at rebranding (again) as just 'ask' could be a huge risk, I reckon.

Ask.com

I would guess they would stick with Ask seeing that ask.com is already their primary domain name and it would not take a major re-branding effort. Unless of course, what they are looking for is a totally new name to brand.

Jeeves UK

OK, I keep forgetting the backwards mentality of the Brits. (My wife is British, so I can say that. I think.) ;-)

How about this: Call it Jeeves in the UK where butlers are still part of the dream, and Ask in the US and everywhere else, where we're more concerned with results than servants. Will the Brits have to type in "ask.com" to get to a site called 'Jeeves'? Well, nevermind...

... ducks inside the cave, and plans to stay there for a while ...

caveman

I think you'll find that its the US that secretly dreams of butlers, I think they think its kind cute.

If I was targeting the US I'd go with Jeeves.

...anyway what kind of Butler do you have there in your cave?

 

> what kind of Butler do you have there in your cave?

Are you kidding? I serve everyone else here, not the other way 'round. Bottom of the heap; that's my lot. Even cavedog has it better than I. And who do you think feeds him? ;-)

We export most of the butlers we train..

..to the good old USA

Most of them do the training go to work for Lord High Muckety-Muck for a couple of years, on slave labour wages, and then emigrate to US to triple or quadruple their salaries.

Quote:
The Butler is very popular with women, especially older women, which seems to be the only market segment that they have ever captured.

It is really a site aimed at the non-techie and older women tend to fall into this category. IMHO they've done a great job to hold the market share they have at the moment, when pretty much every other one of the engines who had that market share 3 years ago is nowhere to be seen, whether you like it or not the butler seems to have some appeal.

Ooops

I thought every self fulfilling caveman had his own butler!

Pour my own cavejuice, thank you very much...

...wouldn't have it any other way.

However, I would be open to a live-in massage therapist. :-)

Keep in mind that Diller's intent is to grow share, not to maintain an aging base of UK dimwits whose defining characteristic is that they are partial to butlering. ;-)

Now, once again, let's think of a good name for a search engine ... hmmm: Ask? ... or ... Jeeves? Hehe. Gee, which domain would you rush out to grab, if you could actually go register one of these?

Its not about domains...

Its about branding, they already have ask.com, but your right about growing its share.

The problem they have is selling or finding the USP that the teoma techonology can give them without alienating their core base.

Google does a good job of this with its cute and cuddly logo that appeals to all cave children and yet delivers the results for those more discerning and critical. They managed to synthesise the two.

The other problem they have is, hey its a tipsy market.

BTW Don't underetimate a base of dimwits, their very loyal and easy to sell to. At least thats what I found in the States.

Gotta go my butlers running my bath.

 

selling or finding the USP that the teoma techonology can give them

I think that's been one of Jeeves biggest problems over the years. They have this very, very impressive techology and they just haven't gotten the message out -- to the public or webfolks.

It's good stuff they have. They should tell more people about it.

Smart marketers can do that

imbeetle, as you say, their very impressive technology doesn't sync up with the ridiculously cute brand name and persona that they are currently hamstrung by. Diller obviously gets that.

It's not about domains, of course. It's about branding. But obviously if they go to just Ask, which is a pretty good brand/domain (on the more generic side of options), then 'jeeves' doesn't work anymore as part of the domain, now does it? Beside tant, i was jus' funnin ya. And I love Brits; like I said, I'm married to one. ;-)

Bottom line: Jeeves must go. With ask, they will, at long last, have a brand (and domain name) that can work with a far more enticing and compelling range of marketing and advertising strategies. More meat. Less fluff. Closer lining up of product and brand persona. Cool.

-

>i was jus' funnin ya. Me too Caveman ;)

Contradictions are good tho, they can lead to unexpected discoveries and "unexpected discovery" is the best definition of innovation that I have heard to date.

I think too that synthesis is the operative word. The average user is not interested in the technology behind the search, just the result, and yet although invisible as it is its fundemental to the whole equation.

I'd love for ask or jeeves to go out there and say "Hey, We're better than Google"

I also think that they have to rigorously focus on finding the right USP, if they do this the name and everything else will almost suggest itself.

...IMHO

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