(A)lphabet, (B)rand, (C)orporate

The transition from the corporate brand Google into the new corporate brand Alphabet is a real success at the stock market. Since the Alphabet start date on the 5th of October there is an upward trend in the share price. The third quarter results announced last week made the party complete. Larry Page and Sergey Brin receive homage from investors!

Like most startups, Google had a very specific mission “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” achieved through a focused product: the search engine.

However, the company has thrown itself into all kinds of new product categories:

  • Calico for combating the aging process and associated diseases
  • Google X for advanced technologies such as the autonomous car
  • Google Fiber Internet and television
  • Nest for home automation (smoke detectors, thermostats, etc.)

If a brand tries to be everything to everybody, it will ultimately become nothing to no one. In Google’s case, where the most successful product uses the same brand name as the company and people use ‘to google’ as a verb, the company owners need to make a choice. A new corporate brand is the only real logical move.

Under the new corporate brand Alphabet can Google continue the pursuit its mission, while new product brands can explore and conquer other categories. This can now be done with focus and most importantly without diluting the Google brand. In addition, the new structure gives also investors more insight into where the money is spent.

Yet, this goes against the natural pursuit that many companies have: ensure a strong corporate brand identity. Too many product brands can indeed seem tiring for both consumers and employees. Both are reasons to consolidate brands under the corporate brand. Another reason may be -as in the case of Unilever- to bring the corporate brand more to the forefront to give it even more the role of authority and credibility.

Alphabet shows us that laser-sharp focused product brands may be the right tools to turn the corporate promise in broader spectrum, strengthen it and bring it to new heights!



Written by Michiel Maandag - thebrandbite.com