Yahoo going multibrand–or not?

I just blogged about Yahoo making a 180-degree turn in the multiple vs. one brand debate, and not a day later I find that Jeremy discussed it on his blog. He says:

I don’t think you’ll ever see Flickr renamed “Yahoo! Photo Sharing Engine” as some have joked. Personally, I’m not thrilled with the name “Yahoo! Widget Engine” but that boat has sailed. I think Konfabulator was a cool name and we could use more cool product names and less of a focus on the generic formula of putting the name Yahoo! in front of a semi-generic term like “answers” or “music” (remember Launch?). It just feels so… Microsoft. But that’s me and I don’t get to make those decisions. The good news is that the trail we blazed by NOT changing the name of Flickr has taught us a little bit about how names and name changes affect perception. It was a good thing to do and I think people are happy about it. Notice that hasn’t been changed to “Yahoo! Events” or “Yahoo! Calendar 2.0” or anything like that?

I agree with JZ 1000% that you need multiple brands in this marketplace. Portals are starting to mature, and I don’t think you’re going to see major growth from a single, mega brands alone. You’re really much better off having *both* a mega brand and smaller more targeted brands. Why can’t you have AOL Autos and Autoblog? AOL Autos is for everyone and Autoblog is for the top 5% of the audience. You can have Yahoo Photos for everyone and Flickr for people who are really into photography–some folks will even use both! Heck, why can’t there an industrial-stregth version of GMAIL with tons of power features that you pay for, and a standard version? Think about it, I just hit my limit on GMAIL and I would certainly give them $50 a year for 2x whatever the free limit is–take my money Google!

The best part of his post the poster below. I’ve been canceling/avoiding meetings left and right since I’ve gotten to AOL. The culture here–like all big companies–revolves around conference calls and meetings. Every single time someone (or their assistant) asks to setup a meeting I say “IM me or call my cell phone–no need to setup a meeting.” It’s amazing how much these rattles some people–different strokes I guess. Oh yeah, I don’t have 400 people working for me. 🙂


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