Bard’s New Identity: Why Google Chose Gemini
- Strategic shift ahead. Google renames Bard to Gemini, reflecting its AI model integration across services.
- Unified branding effort. Consolidation under Gemini aims to streamline Google’s AI presence and messaging.
- Enhanced accessibility focus. Google expands Gemini access on mobile platforms, targeting broader user engagement.
Today is a big day in Google’s AI journey. In a surprise post, Google announced that Bard is being renamed to Gemini. The Bard URL has already been updated to Gemini.
Additionally, Reuters reported that U.S. customers can pay a $19.99 monthly subscription fee for access to Gemini Advanced, powered by the new Ultra 1.0 AI model.
According to the updated Bard page, Google felt that its commitment “to giving everyone direct access to Google AI” should reflect how “every Gemini user across our supported countries and languages has access to Google’s best family of AI models.” To better reflect Google’s investment, the decision was made to rename Bard to Gemini.
The update extends to mobile AI assistant access as well. Google will make the Gemini app available on Android via the Google Play Store. AI enthusiasts using iOS devices, such as Apple, can access Gemini through the Google app for the time being.
Bard is Google’s conversational generative AI assistant, a competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Bard provides users with online access to AI for generating images and text content based on their prompts.
Gemini, a recommendation LLM model, underlies several of Google’s generative AI services, assessing text, images, and videos before generating recommendations for specific Google services. Currently, Gemini is being integrated into numerous Google services, including Google Ads, as highlighted in this CMSWire post.
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What Does This Mean for Google?
Is this change too premature to benefit Google and Bard users? It’s somewhat difficult to determine at this stage, yet there are several key precedents in the marketplace that can be readily imagined.
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The name change holds significant branding implications. Over the past year, Google announced three AIs – Bard, Gemini and Duet – across its services. To outsiders, having three AI names in the public domain might appear like a dominant position. However, managing three “brands” could dilute the company’s AI marketing message among target consumers. This type of strategy could pose a precarious risk in a dynamic marketplace where new features and news break daily.
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A Consumer Focal Point
Consolidating under one name provides consumers, who often have limited attention spans, with a focal point, enhancing the retention of interest and encouraging them to seek the technology in their preferred devices. For instance, a consumer inquiring about Gemini’s availability in their car’s infotainment system exemplifies the kind of targeted interest Google aims to elicit. Considering Google’s relatively smaller presence in device manufacturing compared to Apple, this strategic move is sensible for securing future customer experiences and branding opportunities.
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Capitalizing on Its AI Branding
Bard was in the market for over a year and had become a consumer-friendly name. However, Google quickly integrated Gemini into its services, making its addition to Bard notable AI news last fall. Google executives recognized the need to consolidate service names as competitors also aim to capitalize on their AI branding. For instance, Microsoft has been integrating its AI assistant, Copilot, into its services and renamed Bing Chat to Bing Copilot to align with its strategy for Copilot to be a recognized assistant across Microsoft solutions and software.
Concurrent with the Bard rebranding announcement, Google promoted its latest Gemini update, dubbed Gemini Advanced. Gemini Advanced functions with a new AI model, Ultra 1.0, and Google plans to roll out access in the coming days.
Only time will tell the full impact of Bard’s renaming. For now, Google is satisfied with merging two AI names into one.
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