Mozilla will rebrand Firefox to increase 25% retention rate

Despite the solid support of the Firefox community and the millions of promotion dollars poured by Google (Firefox + Google Toolbar via AdSense affiliate), Mozilla Firefox is still having huge problems with retaining users.

The Mozilla wiki states that:

In order for Firefox to reach our market share goals, we need to improve our ability to retain users. Currently, approximately 50% of the people who download Firefox actually try it and about 50% of those people continue to use it actively. This presents an incredible opportunity for us.

It means 75% of people who download FireFox do not actively use the browser. The retention rate is excruciatingly low, IMO. Their current growth rate is about 3.7% per month. Their goal for growth rate is 10% per month so they want to cut the churn rate by 1/4 (6.3%)

On the contrary, Internet Explorer despite the initial slump still holds the largest market share (and has been reported recently to be increasing again). Market Share report shows the breakdown in browser usage:

Internet Explorer 78.98%
Firefox 14.37%
Safari 4.56%
Opera 0.89%

Obviously, that blue “e” icon still holds a strong brand in representing the internet. Mozilla is trying to address the basic concerns:

What’s a browser?

* What makes a browser different from another?
* Isn’t “the Internet” the blue e icon on my desktop?

What’s Firefox?

* Why should I use Firefox?
* What makes a browser different from another?

Where’s Firefox?

* What’s that icon on my desktop?
* Where do I click to get Firefox back?
* Why didn’t Firefox start when I clicked a link from my email?

The foundation will be re-branding the Firefox icon (and will drop that Fox image) to better represent the WWW.

I personally believe the low performance in retention is fueled by the AdSense referral. People promoting Firefox not for the right reasons and downloaders end up not really using it. I’ve seen a lot of forums asking members to download Firefox + Google toolbar because of the $1 referral fee from AdSense.

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  • I’ve always wondered: why is this relatively poor retention rate suddenly making the rounds? Are Firefox’s competitors subtly pushing their agenda through a word-of-mouth campaign?

  • Rico, because Mozilla wanted to be transparent and they posted about this problem. They want to spread this so that the open source community can help out solve the poor retention rate.

  • dave

    If your stats were ryt, the retention rate should be just 25% and not 75%.