Did Google Market Android Kit Kat Correctly?

Over the last several years Google has made it a habit of allowing their "fans" and "followers" to start their marketing campaign with word of mouth. Today was another example of that. Instead of making a formal announcement, a Google employee posted a picture of an Android Alien made of a Kit Kat bar early this morning on Google+. There wasn't even a link within the post. It just referenced that the new operating system for Android was going to be named Kit Kat. This is something that some people feel is a smart decision and there are others that feel as if it is silly. No matter how you feel, it is true that Google moves the meter when it comes to smartphone operating systems. At this point, many American adults have an Android or Apple iOS smartphone so the two companies are going toe to toe trying to gain new customers. Apple is much more interested in formal announcements while Google is trying to use the stealth mode and allow the Google fans to increase the awareness of their product updates. There is one major issue I have with Google's method to use word or mouth marketing.

Google Employees Are Busy and Can't Sit on Social Media

Do not get me wrong when I say I absolutely love the Google+ social layer. I won't even begin to get into the argument if it is a social network or not. What I do know is that many Google employees use this social layer but they do not have time to really use it. In fact, I know multiple individuals that work on the Google+ team that have well under 1000 followers. When looking at their posts it is clear they are not engaging in much more than each other. I have specific Google circles where I will see five team members from a specific Google+ team that are +1ing each other's posts but that is about it. There is very little reaching out to the public that does not work at the Googleplex. I am not saying this is good or bad but it can cause problems when trying to reach out to a broad audience. Google is smart enough to allow big names like Vic Gundotra and Natalie Villalobos make some announcements but other announcements are made by individuals that hardly have a following at all. If it weren't for the more avid Google fans that have a following some of these posts would never see the light of day.

I have thought long and hard about how Google uses their employees in relation to the Google+ platform. I recognize there is not much they could do differently as they are busy working on projects that are much bigger than building an audience on social media. That said, I do wonder if it would be smart for Google to strategically partner with some of the more popular Google+ users to try and get the word out about some projects. I have friends that have worked on past projects that really did not gain that much traction solely because they didn't have the ability to market to a large group of people. This is difficult for the team as they put many hours into a project that is only seen by a few eyeballs. Well, today that did not happen with Android Kit Kat but it is a possibility with their word of mouth marketing campaign. Fortunately for Google, the Android Kit Kat announcement was picked up by some big names and by around noon today almost everyone on Google+ was seeing Kit Kat related posts.

Kit Kat and Googlepicture of the Kit Kat Android package

This is the first time that Google has teamed up with a major company to name an Android operating system. Tonight I noticed several Google employees posted they were handing out Kit Kat bars on the transportation from San Francisco to the Googleplex. By the end of the day many of these pictures surfaced on Google+ and other social networks. I am a huge fan of the Kit Kat bar but I do wonder what some people think about Google using another company to promote an operating system. I can definitely see where this would rub some people the wrong way. It would be like Apple naming their next iPhone and Operating System Wavy Lays or Mountain Dew. Trust me when I tell you that Apple would take a ton of heat for this yet I have not read many articles busting Google for the decision.

Most of the Grown Up Geek readers know that I love all things Google. The Android Operating System is amazing and I cannot wait for the Nexus 5 to come out to see what options are available. Will I go out and get a Nexus 5 immediately? Probably not. Will I consider it if the price is right? Absolutely. I have never been one of those guys that will stand in line or wait for a product to be released. I know Apple fans love to do this but it is simply not for me. I will be more than happy to wait patiently for the product to be available online so it can be shipped to my phone. When I purchase my Nexus 4 in February I had the phone shipped to my apartment in less than three days. This was worth it rather than having to stand in line for a brand new iPhone or wait for the Nexus product release on the Google Play store. Ultimately, the Google Android Kit Kat marketing plan worked very well on the first day. It will be interesting to see how this continues to progress. Google has made it a habit of releasing these updates just before their competition.

Everyone knows Apple is going to release the newest iPhone soon so expect to see the latest Nexus model leak just before that.




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