Is it a coincidence that 3 of the 4 non-search services with one-billion+ users aren’t named Google? I don’t think so.
Customers don’t care who the CEO is. Customers don’t care what Wall Street thinks. Customers, most of them at least, don’t even care who the parent company is. And to customers YouTube isn’t Google. Android isn’t Google. Chrome isn’t Google. For all intents and purposes they have always been separate companies, to the customer.
No customer looks at Ben & Jerry’s and thinks: Popsicle.
No customer looks at Dewalt and thinks: Black & Decker.
And no customer sees the brands in the Alphabet family as meaningfully related. They think of the category (“Search for videos”) and then the brand springs to mind (“YouTube”).
That Google’s best performing non-search brands are the ones not named Google is a good sign for Alphabet. If Alphabet maintains a house of brands strategy my prediction is that we will see more billion+ user services launched under Alphabet. They won’t be named Google, but neither were the last ones.