Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why not rename AOL?

A thought, after reading this piece about AOL and its new content strategy: Why not rename the company?

Ask most people what they associate with the AOL brand, and I suspect the answer will probably be "dial-up Internet access," "Time-Warner's multibillion-dollar mistake", or maybe "my mom's email address." No one associates it with premium content. Indeed, because of these negative associations, the brand is probably a liability for premium content -- and the premium advertisers AOL needs to get on board to make CEO Tim Armstrong's vision work.

While I'm on the topic, I also wonder why Armstrong and team haven't done more to capitalize on one of AOL's most important assets -- AIM. The instant messaging program is used by tens of millions of people every day, and is seen as an indispensable tool by many of them. Compared with other premium content producers on the Web, it's a differentiator that none of them can easily duplicate. Why not leverage AIM in new and exciting ways to support the premium content push?

Image: Gilgongo/Flickr, creative commons generic 2.0 license

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