Tag Archives: Google

(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!

Indexing what is happening now: Paul McCartney in NYC on Google and Twitter

There were rumors that Paul McCartney was playing in NYC… Well he actually did play in NYC and I was really curious where he played so I hit the search engines and realized that the essence of the Google and Twitter brands have taken shape.

By default I hit Google search only to find out that the first hits did not tell me where the gig took place. Sure, I could have looked a little further but it’s clear that mixing ‘what is happening now’ with traditional search indexes is not straightforward from a user experience perspective. So, I went over to Twitter and of course found out immediately where Paul McCartney was playing.

Google, first hits not relevant
Google: everything?
Relevant hits
Twitter: all about now

So, two brands and products with a different purpose: Twitter lives up to its promise “See what is happening, right now” and found a differentiating promise in the search engine space.

Google is the search engine for everything but “now”. Even when Google indexes everything real time it will need to do some serious user experience design to stay on top of being the search engine of everything: mixing the moment of now with the past and future in one elegant interface.

What is your bet: divergence or convergence in the search engine space?