I was reading a post from David Armano today about association and it got me thinking. He wrote out a number of brands and the word that he associates with each. It's a pretty clear and powerful exercise in the emotive power of brands.
As David pointed out in his post, he started (back in 1996) using and admiring Yahoo! as the de-facto internet company that "got it". They were to search and the web the way Google is today.
So when did you switch? When did your default search go from silly-sounding Yahoo to (at that time) ridiculous sounding Google?
For me it seemed like an overnight thing. One day I was a Yahoo! guy and the next I was committed to Google. It was nothing that Yahoo did wrong per-say, but Google fit my needs better. I didn't want the content that came with the portal concept, I wanted to find what I wanted in one click. Over time, the Google brand grew and it grew on me.
Did you switch? Millions of people still use Yahoo. They are still satisfied or unwilling to change major markers like email addresses or IM accounts. Why did you (or didn't you) make a switch?
In light of the Microsoft takeover bid, what would you do if you were Yahoo's shareholders? Would you merge or would you try to reinvent search like you did back in 1996?
"The Borg-Yahoo merger won't work. Here's why. It's like taking the two guys who finished second and third in a 100-yard dash and tying their legs together and asking for a rematch, believing that now they'll run faster."