It’s hard for me to hear “Netscape” without thinking first of the browser, then of the company that destroyed it’s lead in the browser race, and finally of the company AOL bought for some damned reason.
I know it’s morphed many more times – to a portal, and now to a “Digg wanna be”. It may have been other things when I wasn’t looking – but what it isn’t anymore is a brand I identify with. Given the below choice, I would naturally and without giving it a thought, “Digg This!” something before I would “Submit to Netscape”. Why? Because I don’t understand Netscape anymore. I don’t know what they will be tomorrow (an online movie store, perhaps?)
But someone thinks the Netscape brand still has value. And it might. But not to me. To me it has a very negative value because it has lost it’s identity. It isn’t what it was, and it’s not even close to being a brand that gives me warm fuzzies. I don’t trust that Netscape, as a brand, won’t morph again – and effectively trash any investment I made in the latest, last incarnation of Netscape.
It’s time to bury this brand, I think.