It’s not Yahoo, Facebook or Bing which worries the world’s no.1 brand “Google” but a strong local Chinese brand ‘Baidu’. Yes – the brand which kicked Google out from China. According to BrandZ top 100 brands of the world Baidu stands at No.2 in top 10 risers with 62% rise rate and also part of the top 10 list in terms of total brand value. If you look at the Architecture of Baidu, it is, if not similar, exactly the same as Google – in fact, replace the logos and it’s Google. It works around the same technology and offers results in the same fashion as ‘Google’, plus, it focuses on the local culture and give high priority to local search terms.
Nevertheless, the idea is that it’s not the technological difference behind Baidu’s success story, but the bonding it has with its users.
So, as humans, what can we learn from Baidu;
- Being a global leader in your category doesn’t mean that you can control your category too
- If you spend too much time thinking how to take over the world – then soon you will realise that the world (or part of it) is not expecting anything from you - anymore
- If you offer people what they ‘Want’ rather than focusing on acquiring their attention, then soon people will follow you without getting influenced by names stronger than you
- Each market operates differently. Being a leader in multiple markets doesn't necessarily makes you the leader in rest of the markets – focus on culture and local interest is the key to success when aiming for a True Global Position
- Yes, technology is the key to business success in today’s world, however, a business can’t retain its competitive advantage just on the basis of technology. Consider Apple – the best technology for the most creative people in the world. Without the thought of ‘for the most creative people in the world’ Apple would just be another business making amazing products but, struggling to differentiate its products from endless private Chinese labels – (with no bonding with people in the real world).
If Baidu has to retain its no.1 position in China and beyond, then it’s not Google it should be worried about but, what the people of China need and expect from the search engine of the Future – and of course the answer is not in the technology - but the use of technology.
Without a doubt, for most of the Global brands, the future’s strongest competitor will be ‘Diverse Consumer Expectations’.