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Microsoft admits that its campaign to turn ‘Bing’ into a verb has been a massive flop

September 12th, 2012 at 7:45 PM

In an ideal world, Microsoft (MSFT) would like to have the word “Bing” become synonymous with online search instead of “Google” (GOOG). But we can’t always get what we want in life, and Fast Company reports that Microsoft has acknowledged that its efforts to turn Bing into a verb have been spectacular failures. In fact, Microsoft’s attempt to match Google’s search branding power have gone so poorly that even its own employees have given up using Bing as a verb in casual conversations.

“Some people say the verb — sometime they say, ‘Hey, Bing this,'” Mike Nichols, corporate VP and chief marketing officer of Bing, told Fast Company. “But it’s rare.”

In the end, Microsoft says it doesn’t care if “Google” remains the default verb for search as long as people start choosing Bing for their online queries.

“I think we’re conflicted but happy if someone said ‘Google it’ but they were going to Bing and giving us the query,” said Adam Sohn, general manager of influencer marketing at Bing. “The thing about Kleenex is once you pull it out of the box, it looks exactly the same, whereas with online products, the brands are a bit more forward. So if you say, ‘I’m going to Google it,’ and you go to Bing — cause that’s what you have set as the default — over time, you’re going to understand the brand that you are using.”

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