Google Trends is brilliant for seeing how well a brand is doing out there on the interweb and thus in the real world.
Here is a traditional publisher going steadily downhill (Sega) compared with an online game on the up (Habbo). As you can see Habbo overtook Sega at the beginning of 2005 and now has several times the online search presence.
The two biggest publishers in the world, Electronic Arts and Activision, are both steadily going downhill, with Activision slightly ahead most of the time.
Comparing three of the biggest games, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and Forza. Notice that Forza is well behind in search and well ahead in news. Is their marketing department outperforming?
To show just what people care about in the world here is Afghanistan compared with Wii! Afgahanistan is well ahead in news but nowhere when it come to what people are searching for.
As you can see Trends applies a fantastic metric to the performance of any company or brand. It is a brilliant tool for any manager and every marketing professional. You could even use it as a basis for people’s bonuses!