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February 2006


Tim Asimos


Before I start, I just want to say that I enjoying reading your books and blog.

Regarding Carerbuilder, you stated, "The real problem is that Career Builder is not the leader." I would have to disagree with your info on Careerbuilder. While monster used to "own" the job listings category, they no longer do. Careerbuilder has been the leader for nearly 2 years. Corzen research (http://www.corzen.com) shows Careerbuilder having 41% of the job listings market share while monster only has 36. Comscore also shows Careerbuilder having a lead on Monster for more than a year (see http://internetstockblog.com/article/5114)

Here is part of Careerbuilder's Feb. 10 press release:
"Careerbuilder.com, the nation's largest online job network, announced a new record in traffic with comScore Media Metrix reporting over 21 million unique visitors came to the site in January. This is 4 million more unique visitors than its largest competitors and a record high for comScore Media Metrix's Career Resources measurement. At the same time, CareerBuilder.com continued its 23-consecutive month lead in posting the most jobs in the industry, according to recruitment tracking firm Corzen."
(See http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/02-10-2005/0002992160&EDATE=)

Careerbuilder not only leads in postings, but leads in unique visitors as well. That means they are truly number 1, not number 2. Monster was first, but they failed to adapt to the changing needs of job seekers, while Careerbuilder clearly listened to the needs of its customers and developed a completely better site.

Tim Whelan

Good Posting Laura.

I agree with name Identity and the perception that surrounds it. And all the above that John B mentioned are certainly cool. But for every cool there are 1000 cool names that never succeed and they probably should. Don’t forget the name also needs to deliver an identity so cool also can miss the mark here.

It is in the perception of the identity associated with the name and the customer recognition of that perception that brings the cool. The brand can be the best in the market, but cool isn't always so cool. It's more frigid actually.

Names like Career Builder can have a very cool perception if that perception can be telegraphed to their market in cool terms. So far they have really missed the target with that. They are a generic brand because of how their market identifies them the perception that was conveyed in the bowl ads are a good indication as to why. Branding 101 says to play to your strengths and uniqueness and so far who ever is running their brand campaign hasn't met the criteria. This can also be said for most of the other losers on bowl day.

What’s important is also to remember bowl day is only one day out of the year it is what we do to build that identity the other 364 days that really counts.

The above brands as wellas others who never made it to the big screen haven't performed to well in this area either.


So right Scott. Career Builder is a terrible name. Being a number two brand with a weak name puts them in really a tough spot. Monster is a terrfic name! Hard to find any brands in the last decade that were established with a generic name. General Electric is the most successful company with a generic name, but that was started over 100 years ago. You could never build a brand today with a GE name.

And to John B, that Fabio ad was horrible, you are so right. Bad ad and too generic a brand name. I really believed he was selling shampoo, it would be a lot more plausible than him selling insurance.

The name you give your brand is the most important decision a company will ever make. Choosing a generic name will make succeeding difficult and maybe impossibe.

Scott Miller

Another problem with Career Builder is its generic name. There's no coolness about it. Monster.com is inherently odd and cool as a name for its business. Same with Amazon, eBay, Google, Rotten Tomatoes, Yahoo, Alibaba, Xanga, Netflix, etc.

I'd much rather have a company with the domain (or brand) name Amazon.com than Bookstore.com. Or eBay.com over Auction.com.

Names like Pixar are a 1000 times more memorable and cool than names like Animation Studios.



I enjoy your blog. I would add the NationWide Fabio ad to your list of Super Bowl losers.

I don't think many people equate Fabio with insurance and investments. Even if the ad was good, it seems like a generic brand name like Nationwide would get lost in a sea of well known names (Pepsi, FEDEX, etc).


Thanks for the info Dave. Whenever a company faces a PR crisis the last thing they should be doing is advertising. It is like after an airline has a crash, one of the first things to do is pull all advertising. Ameriquest would be better not drawing more attention it itself for the moment. After a cooling off period, they can advertise again, but they need a campaign which reinforces the brand message. Of course they need a message.

Thanks Mack, yes I agree about the Bob Parsons comment. This guy obvioulsy gets that controversy creates PR, but I think he has gone off the deep end. I was glad to see the antics didn't pay off. Maybe he will get more serious about branding.

In regards to Career Builder, it is so common that the number two brand is "better" than the leader. But it is perception that wins at the end of the day. And leadership is powerful. I think Career Builder has to find a way to verbalize the brand that make sense to the consumer and positions it against Monster. The way to be a strong number 2 is not to be better but to be the opposite of the leader.

I must admit I haven't personally used either site, and unless my Dad decides to fire me I hope I never will.

Mack Collier

Laura I agree the Go Daddy spot was a huge yawner, and knew it would be almost impossible for it to be effective after the massive 'I can't get past ABC's censors!' hyping/whining that Bob Parsons has done on his blog for months.

But I liked the second Career Builder spot. I started watching it and saw the guy with monkeys and immediately thought 'great, I've seen this 5 times already, this is nothing new', then right as I was thinking that, they showed the woman working with jackasses, nice twist!

And while I will agree with you that Monster owns the 'job search' position in the public's mind, anyone that's used both sites will likely tell you that you get many more results from Career Builder than you do Monster.

Dave J.

There is bigger picture about Ameriquest: they've just settled a major suit for predatory lending practices.

I thought the commercial was saying don't judge Ameriquest. Of course if they were making that plea, the ads would have been in even worse taste.

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