In something of a surprise move, Microsoft has renamed its daily deals product and shifted the brand to MSN. It was “Bing Deals.” Now it’s MSN Offers. Apparently the change was the result of an effort to clear up perceived confusion. A press release went out but I discovered this through my in-box.
Bing.com’s deals site aggregates retail and e-commerce sales information from many sources across the US. Microsoft apparently wants to separate that content from local daily deals. However the local daily deals are still accessible from the Bing/deals site (see upper left tile in screenshot below).
While it makes sense to use MSN to popularize and expose deals, given the site’s massive traffic, separating daily deals from other types of deals may create more confusion than it avoids. Other deal-centric sites such as Savings.com and the newspaper-owned Find n Save attempt to be consolidated, “one stop” destinations, aggregating coupons, retail sales information and daily deals for consumer convenience.
This change from Bing Deals to MSN Offers is something of a metaphor for the challenge that Microsoft has faced in managing the relationship between Bing and MSN, including which one it wants to promote as the primary consumer brand.
Postscript: A Micrsoft spokesperson offered the following rationale for the change in an email to me:
The re-naming of Bing Daily Deals to MSN Offers better aligns daily deals with MSN, where people can go to find the best things going on in their local area.