I'm sure you remember the blind taste test of the '70's and '80's where Pepsi took on its rival Coke to determine which soft drink people prefer. It was a fairly successful ad campaign for Pepsi as many of the blind taste testers tended to pick Pepsi over Coke.
While their methods have been called into question – most recently by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink – who (in his own research) found the results of the Pepsi Challenge to be flawed because most people will tend to prefer a “sweeter” tasting drink (Pepsi) when doing a “sip taste”.
Pepsi popularized the “taste test” campaign and there have been many other brands who've tried to employ similar methods in their own marketing efforts.
Today, Bing is trying to employ a similar ploy as they take on the Giant, Google in the battle for search engine supremacy. I'm sure you've already seen the commercials: A witty man with glasses walks around asking folks what their favorite search engine is – and then inviting them to a blind test of sorts to see which search results they prefer:
As Bing claims – most testers preferred Bing, 2 to 1. You can take the test for yourself here. (I took it and preferred Google)
The top search engines
There is a lot of money in search today. With competition fierce to be featured at the top of the list for “financial training & qualifications”, “best credit card offers” and so on – there is a lot at stake. Being featured at the top of search can mean the difference in thousands of sales vs. only a couple hundred.
Right now – Google is the top dog (by far) when it comes to search, followed by Bing and Yahoo at a distant second and close third (via eBiz, May 2013). Bing may be second – but they are not content and they have the money to try and compete.
Ways they are getting us to use Bing
One of the ways that Bing is competing and trying to gain more ground in search is by offering us rewards to search. That's right – they are offering you gift cards and prizes just by doing something you probably do every day: search.
Bing knows they are in a tough uphill battle against the industry leader. And – now – they aren't afraid to pull out all the stops. They've decided to reward their users.
Here's just a sampling of some of the things you can get by searching Bing:
- $5 Starbucks gift card
- $5 Amazon gift card
- 1 day movie rental at Redbox
- $15 RedEnvelope ecard
- $15 ProFlowers ecard
Then there are reward levels: Member, Silver and Gold. Once you get to the Gold level, the points you need to get some of these gifts is less – so you can get more, faster.
I'm interested to know if you've tried the program yet – and how much have you earned? Would a brand rewarding you for trying their service make you switch from another one you are more loyal to?