Credit card companies pretty much offer the same basic service. One way in which various credit card providers (banks, financial institutions) compete with each other is via rewards – cash-backs, reward points etc. Given an option between two very similar credit cards, ‘A’ and ‘B’, people are likely to choose ‘B’ say if ‘B’ offered 5% cash-back instead of the 1% cash-back offered by ‘A’. Fair game you would say. Correct ?
Now think of search engines. The two most prominent search engines in the US market, Bing and Google, pretty much provide nearly the same results. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, claims that 70% of the times users will have equally relevant results on both Bing and Google, 15% of the times Bing will be better and 15% of the times Google will be better. Going by my personal experience I would tend to agree with this statement.
Now how does Bing, being the new player on the block, get more users ? One way Bing does this is via Bing Rewards. Users on Bing, can sign up and earn points on Bing, which later on can be used to redeem things like Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards or even donate to various charitable organizations. My friends often joke that Bing needs to use ‘tricks’ like ‘rewards’ to lure users to use their service. Its not because of their ‘poor service’ as some would claim, but because it is almost at even par with its competitor. As it is with credit card providers, I think its fair for Bing to use reward points to get more users in an era where ‘google’ is used a verb.
So, give Bing a spin and earn a Amazon gift card while you do so. You can also use my referral if you wish to : goo.gl/k0xPk
(Full Disclosure: I was summer intern (summer 2011) with Microsoft Bing. The views expressed in this post are solely mine, and none of my current or previous employers subscribe to these views)