Brand experts at Google: ‘Branding means coherency’

brand experts

How do you market a company that’s big enough to be a verb? Why bother marketing a company worth $155.5bn? According to a new piece in The Drum, brand experts at Google believe the nature of what it means to be a brand has changed dramatically in the last decade. And understanding this is vital.

It’s 1999 and Google is holding its first marketing meeting. Therein it’s decided that in order to be seen as a legitimate organisation working neutrally to organise the world’s information, users need to love the company. More so, they need to see the company as something that loves them back.

Today this situation has been altered, but those at the tech giant hope this won’t be irreversible. Consumers are increasingly distrusting of technology companies, and the more overarching the more distrust exists. Over the last decade Google has launched and bought countless other brands, and taken great steps to sell these to us as separate entities.

Here lies the problem. People know Google is responsible for each arm of its umbrella, all of which fall under the parent group name, Alphabet. Yet each arm has been marketed as a different company, a move that confuses, potentially raises transparency concerns, and doesn’t help Google itself be seen as a coherent force.

Brand experts at Google now say ‘coherent branding’ is the way forward

As per market research carried out by Google, consumers respond better to product advertisements that are clearly labelled as part of Google, not another Google company. Google Photos gets more clicks when it becomes Photos by Google. Google Maps is improved when sold as Maps by Google.

These are subtle changes, but significant ones. They identify one company consistently across all ads, with the product placed at the front. In the past, it was simply an individual product name, giving the impression of multiple brands that share a parent.

Coherent branding creates a coherent message

What’s most important about the findings of Google’s brand experts is that by switching to branding in this way, marketers were given a new, coherent message on a plate, which ties the whole thing together. In this instance it was simply ‘Google helps people’. Whether they need to use or share photos, or want to know which direction to walk in.

You’re (probably) not Google, but you are a brand

Chances are you’re not reading this from a Google office. But chances are you have arrived at Smoking Gun‘s blog because you are involved in some form of brand. As such the same rules apply from the same lessons…

*Consider the various parts of your company and brand— do they coherently align?

*Single brand, multi-product marketing means moving in one direction as a company overall. This helps cement the company name multiple times. Marketing each arm individually does not.

*Brand loyalty can increase when that brand is a singular force with many benefits

Read the full feature on The Drum.

 

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