Should Mozilla Rebrand Itself as Firefox?

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Firefox is a massive success in Europe, but what is striking about its adoption is the variation from country to country. For example, in Finland it has a market share of over 45%, while in the UK, to its eternal shame, it is a pathetic 20%. How can such a huge disparity be explained?

Well, I have my dark theories involving Bill Gates and a poodle, but putting those aside for the moment, here's an interesting attempt from Mozilla to find out more:

With your help, we have put together a simple survey of questions, which will help us get a sense of how well ‘you’ think Firefox is doing in your country. Its called the “Firefox in your country” survey.

We think its important to ask you for your opinion, so the questions not only ask about your own use of Firefox, but also cover questions such as: why do you think people use Firefox, and how? To, what kind of product features do you think are most important for Firefox users?

Over the next few weeks we’ll be running 6 surveys, in 6 different languages - they are now online and fully available in English, Spanish, Polish, German, Brazilian Portuguese and Indonesian. And, just to let you know, we are keen to replicate the survey in other languages, so we’ll be working on next steps for this in the coming weeks.

The survey is not very onerous or intrusive, and will only take a couple of minutes of your time. It probes why people switch to Firefox and what exactly Mozilla needs to do to increase uptake of its browser.

Having filled in the survey, it became clear to me one thing that Mozilla could usefully do: stop mentioning “Mozilla” when dealing with end-users. Although readers of this blog can distinguish between Mozilla the project, Mozilla the foundation, Mozilla the corporation, Mozilla messaging, Mozilla the browser suite and Mozilla the original Netscape project, I suspect that your average person on the Clapham omnibus cannot. Moreover, the relationship between all these entities and the Firefox browser is probably as clear as mud.

Instead, the organisation formerly known as Mozilla must emphasise the Firefox brand as much as possible (and that of Thunderbird where relevant), and not confuse things by throwing in this mysterious “Mozilla” beast every now and then. If the people behind Mozilla *really* want to maximise the uptake of their browser, it would be simplest just to re-brand the entire organisation as "Firefox" and be done with it. That way, every action and every mention would be pushing out the Firefox message. But that might be viewed as a step too far....

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