Google brand strategy case study

BrandStruck
Google Brand Strategy Analysis
Google
ABOUT

Category:
Electronics & technology – software, home appliancesmobile phones; Retail – e-retail; Media & entertainment – social media; Professional servicestechnology solutions

Owner of the brand:
Alphabet Inc.

Key competitors:
Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo, Aol

Brand essence

Making a positive impact on people’s lives by organizing the world’s information and making it easily accessible.

Brand values

Innovation, accessibility, usefulness.

Brand character

Wise, human, friendly, for everybody, unpretentious, humble.

Dominating archetype
EVIDENCE
Comments
1

For many years, Google had been both a corporate and consumer brand. It changed in 2015, when Alphabet, the new corporate brand, was created and Google’s brand remit was narrowed down to internet-related products. Other ventures, such as Life Sciences or Calico became separate businesses, making Alphabet Inc. a holding.[1] This brand architecture shift was designed to bring more transparency, as Adweek puts it: “into how much the company makes in revenue compared with how much it spends on side projects like drones, self-driving cars and wearables“.[2]

2

With its diverse portfolio of products (search, Maps, Chrome, Google Home etc.), Google helps people learn more about the world around them and enables them to find any information they need. Even though the brand is neither a creator nor a publisher of content, because of its ability to understand the searcher’s intentions and distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources of data, Google in a way has become a trusted source of information itself and, as such, is associated with wisdom and knowledge. This, combined with the company’s mission to make information more useful and accessible[3], makes Google a Sage brand.

3

Google’s brand strategy to some extent is also based on the Creator archetype. The company has managed to build a perception of a brand which is highly committed to supporting creators (e.g., YouTube Space[4]) and entrepreneurs (e.g., Google Campuses[5]) and is always focused on innovation and experimentation.

 

 

4

Google, similarly to Apple, aspires to make the world a better place and both brands use technology to do so. However, Google’s brand character is very different from Apple’s: Apple is building a premium, aspirational and cool brand image, while Google is more human, warmer and uses a much humbler tone of voice; Apple builds emotional distance, Google shortens it; Apple is admired, Google is likeable.

5

Although, for many years, Google hadn’t been particularly active brand- and marketing-wise (in 2005 Guardian reminded that Google had said: “We never promote our brand[6]), the things started changing a few years ago. Refreshed visual identity, simplified brand architecture[7], intensified promotion and more emotional campaigns (e.g., Google Translate: Alberto’s Story[8]) further contribute to a warm and human image of the technology giant.

6

Google has a simple and consistent visual style. However, it breaks all its branding rules on special occasions with Google Doodles[9] celebrating anniversaries, birthdays of renowned people and other special events.

Tagline
Most important campaigns

1. “Google Pixel 3: Top Shot” (2018)

2. “Google Home: Show Off” (2017)

3. Google Duo – “Salt & Pepper” (2016)

4. Google Photos – “Automatic Backup” (2016)

5. “Parisian Love” (2009)

 

Official brand statement:

Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’
Since the beginning, our goal has been to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible. Not just for some. For everyone.[10]

Interesting facts:

Google’s business philosophy is summarized in the company’s corporate motto: “Don’t be evil”, which was used in the prospectus of Google’s 2004 IPO. It is still mentioned in Google’s Code of Conduct.[11]

The official Google’s Code of Conduct, on top of serious topics such as conflicts of interests or equal opportunity employment, also covers the company’s dog policy: “Google’s affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture. We like cats, but we’re a dog company, so as a general rule we feel cats visiting our offices would be fairly stressed out.[12]

Must-reads

1. The Verge on why Google is shutting down Google+ for consumers
A. Carman, “Google Is Shutting Down Google+ For Consumers Following Security Lapse”, The Verge, Oct 2018,
https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/8/17951890/google-plus-shut-down-security-api-change-gmail-android

2. Google’s new identity
A. Cook, J. Jarvis, J.Lee, “Evolving The Google Identity”, Google Design, Sep 2015,
https://design.google.com/articles/evolving-the-google-identity/

3. Adweek on Google’s rebranding of the corporate brand
L. Johnson, “Why Alphabet May Spell Good News For Google’s Brand But Will It Expose Underdeveloped Projects?”, Adweek, Aug 2015,
http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/why-alphabet-may-spell-good-news-googles-brand-166329

 

Sources:
SIMILAR BRANDS

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