Thursday, June 14, 2007

Google, A Brand Built to last or to get Lost?

Google is a company which stands as a perfect epitome for "word of mouth" marketing. It is also considered as one of the most powerful brands.

In the 22 immutable laws of branding, al ries and laura ries define branding as," a successful branding program is based on the concept of singularity. It creates in the mind of the prospect the perception that there is no other product on the market quite like your product."

When you want to search,your journey ends up @ google.com.So by the definition, still google is a powerful brand for searching.

Google not only stands as an example for their definition of branding, they strictly abide by their laws too.

Law of Publicity
The birth of the brand is achieved with publicity not advertising.
That was how google was born.It is hailed as a company that was built without spending a single cent on advertising or branding.You might wonder, how they came up with this law, even before google was born!!They were also the first best search engine in the search space.

Law of the Company
They also stick to the best branding strategy of using the company name as the brand name, which is a simple,straight forward and easy to understand for the end user.

Law of the Generic
One of the fastest routes to failure is giving a brand a generic name.
Law of the Word
A brand should strive to own a word in the mind of the consumer.
Law of the Name
In the long run, a brand is nothing more than a name.

Well, did you ever feel google is a generic name?
Once when people said search it on the net, they used google.com
Some time later they said, search it using google.
Nowadays we people say, google it.

This alone explains how powerful google is as a brand and their abidance for the above mentioned three laws.Sure it has beat the world's most recognised brand the coke or cola which meant coco cola.(around 1 billion coco cola sold overa single day)

Law of Category
A leading brand should promote the category, not the brand.
Sure they built and promoted search engine categories like search videos, search books, search open source, search journals, search via mobile and desktop search. A differentiating factor from other search engines, not just searching web pages on the internet.

Law of Shape
A brand's logotype should design to fit the eyes. both eyes.
Law of Color.
A brand should use a color that is the opposite of it's major competitors.

Does the excitement and expectation on google doodles needs any elaboration?

Competitors, to google! Huh Some body gotta be kidding. The google logo uses all four of the five primary colors, i.e red blue green yellow ( or is it orange? gotta check my eyes :-) )

Can any body argue that google violates the law of shape or color?

Law of Change
Brands can be changed, but only frequently and only very carefully
They very much strictly abide by this law. The user interface, look and feel and design hasn't changed much, though it has been a old grown up kid on the block.Google labs hasn't been given a chance to play around with the home page. (Hope no engineer takes up the 20 percent of work time to come up with the new google home page.)

Well enough of, how google is good on abiding by the laws. let us see what are the mistakes they have started commiting....

Universal Search.
Google sees it as a major break through in search.Does the revamp is close to the promise of perfect search engine?

I did try, "jennifer lopez+ waiting for tonight" in a hope that the new google search will lead to a video link. Hmm Nope. I reached the video link only after visiting video.google.com (Have i misunderstood the concept of universal search? or will it work only for britney spears?)

Should i still say they abide by the law of credentials(the crucial ingredient in the success of any brand is its claim to authenticity)?

I think i can go on to claim they even broke, "the law of siblings" "there is a time and place to launch a second brand" video search, book search, code search could also be viewed as siblings of webpage search.
They could have concentrated on building youtube as brand for video search either as category or sibling. They could have powered up the youtube with the google search algorithm and including an option to watch the videos of youtube along with google video player. They could have killed video.google.com.

Law of Singularity
The most important aspect of a brand is it's single mindedness.
what is microsoft? windows, a desktop os.
What is google? a search engine.
really! Is google today , just a search engine?

I read somewhere,"The Internet is about brand depth, not breadth. It’s not worth chasing share of market, it’s share of wallet that really counts. Once you have your loyal community, there are fabulous opportunities for crossselling, personalised services and meeting the multiple needs of the same group."

By the above marketing gyan, you can also say that, law of contraction and expansion doesn't applies to internet based companies. Google broke these laws once they become an advertising company and started competing with microsoft by coming up with Gmail, Gtalk, google page creator.
well you can even let go the attempts to take head on with microsoft with an ambition to have the cake for themselves!!!
How do you justify google competing with wal-mart selling beach towels, kid's back pack, even baby creeper? (High time larry page, sergey brin and eric get their copies of Brand Failures: The Truth about the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time and read about harley davidson stores and it's failure)

Somebody please let me know, is google a search engine, a software maker or an online retail store.

Above all, i wish and pray for the following law to the goodness of the google.( as well as to us)
Law of fellowship
In order to build a category, the brand should welcome other brands.
When will we have a better search engine than google or at least a close competitor to google in terms of search.
(Hope they will not follow the footsteps of microsoft, massacring the minnows)

Beyond all, time alone can answer will google follow or survive the law of mortality
No brand will live forever. Euthanasia is often the best solution!

5 comments:

Mark M said...

Interesting post, Zeno. Does Google's brand hold the same power in all the countries and cultures in which it operates?

zeno said...

Thank You Mark. I couldn't believe myself that you have actually read my post and commented. I am glad, happy, feeling great :-)

ManDarK said...

Zen0, that was a question directed at you! Am looking for an answer to that too.

zeno said...

Hi mandark,
yeah agreed, that was a question directed at me. Thou shall answer the question with a blog post :-)

zeno said...

Hi Mandark, the question has been answered. "http://zeno-theoracle.blogspot.com/2007/07/google-is-still-not-god-part-i.html" Shall post the second part shortly