It's going down.
I appologize for these evil thoughts but the writing is on the brand manager's wall. Don't panic, this won't happen tomorrow and it won't even be before our own eyes. However, sometime in the future, people will wonder what happened to Google.
So tuck this article away for a bit and pull it out when all the stock analysts are suddenly bearish on Google and the all its luster has wore off.
Well, there was time not too long ago when Microsoft was thought to be the most dominant brand in the world and not even United States antitrust lawsuits couldn't slow down Bill Gates' software giant. Then it lost focus and slowly faded.
Now Google is trekking down the same trail to brand destruction.
For those of us old enough to remember the dawn of the internet, your first search was most likely done through AltaVista, Yahoo! or GoTo.com. However, these sites had to do more than just search and transformed themseleves into internet portals (for shopping, sports, news, weather, stocks etc).
Then Google came along. They just wanted to map out the entire internet. That was it.
Editor's Note: I can actually remember my first Google experience. I was in 11th grade and a computer saavy friend told me about it during a class that was in our computer lab (remember those). When the page uploaded I waited for a bit because I was expecting to be bombarded with all that other junk that come with internet search.
This narrow focus helped Google become one of the most powerful brands ever; it became a verb for internet search and was used billions of times everyday.
Now Google has line-extended themselves way beyond just search. This past week they unvield Google Buzz which is another form of social networking to compete with Facebook and Twitter. One difference is that Google Buzz will be run through a Gmail account; which is another line extension created to compete with the established Hotmail, Aol and Yahoo! mail.
There is also Google Checkout to compete with PayPal. Google Maps to compete with Mapquest. Google Earth. Google Talk for instant messaging. Google Chrome OS to compete with Microsoft software and Google's Android phone to compete with the iphone. The list goes on.
For now, the Google brand still has some pull. However, they should brand carefully because the trail to brand destruction is a one way trip.