Over the last few weeks, you have probably noticed the enormous amount of media coverage around Google’s rebranding. Google is one of the world’s most recognised brands. What can we learn from this rebranding exercise?
When should a business rebrand, and why?
Google is currently ranked as the 2nd most valuable brand and valued at $65.6 B by Forbes.Any rebranding exercise by Google’s is big news indeed.
According to Google’s rather short official press release, its rebranding is mainly a cosmetic makeover for the mobile generationGoogle explains that it was once solely a search engine only accessible via a desktop computer, but today its various services are available to all across an ever-increasing number of mobile devices, some with the tiniest of screens (think smartwaches).
However, it’s worth noting that the new logo launch took place only three weeks after the announcement that Google was restructuring to become part of a new company called Alphabet, becoming one of the many companies in Alphabet’s portfolio. This is without doubt the biggest structural change in Google’s 17 years history. A lot has been happening at Google lately, and it’s only logical company’s logo had to change to reflect important changes in the business structure and its plans for the future.
The long-term survival of a business is directly linked to its ability to adapt to changes within its marketplace and clients expectations and sometimes even provoke them, like tech companies often do. Change is at the core of why companies rebrand. Change can happen in two places: change within the business or change within its marketplace.
The first and most obvious reason for a rebranding is when a business decides to change its focus, product line or services and needs to communicate this to the world. When a business rebrands, it makes a strong statement of its intent of staying relevant in an evolving market place. It shows the world you mean business.
The second reason for a rebranding is that the marketplace has changed so drastically that the business’ brand identity has become dated and irrelevant to its target audience. It creates a negative perception of the business.
When a business rebrands, it makes a strong statement of its intent of staying relevant in an evolving market place. It shows the world you mean business.
At Acacia we often see companies with great products and services who haven’t picked up on this gradual shift in the way they are being perceived. This is because business results stay satisfactory for a period of time before suddenly getting worse, and often the reasons are hard to pinpoint.
When it becomes obvious that competitors are wowing potential future clients and even existing ones, the management’s response is often to solely focus on improving products and services or lowering prices. In both cases this means reduced margins at a time when sales are decreasing.
All this while competitors keep winning an even bigger market share with products and services which aren’t necessarily better. Clients just like them more for some mysterious reasons.
Like an overgrown garden, once a brand has been left unattended for too long it will take efforts and resources to revive it at a time when a business can afford it the least.
The solution to this is simple: in the same way that regularly reviewing financial results is good business practice, so should be regularly reviewing the brand by giving it a health check. What is your brand’s visibility in today’s marketplace? Is it still relevant to our audience? This in-depth exercise will many insights. It can undertaken in-house by your marketing team or by enlisting specialist expertise.The main ingredient of a successful rebrandThe most successful rebrands are invariably the ones which address change but are also fully aligned with a long-term business strategy. A strategy to create change rather than respond to it. Google’s logo change is only the tip of the iceberg in a massive rebranding exercise enabling the achievement of a long-term vision which will become part of our lives in years to come.
We all know a brand identity is much more than its logo, but like a person’s signature it is often seen as an important expression of their identity, a company’s logo sits is central to how its brand is perceived.
Building brand recognition takes time, so it isn’t advisable to rebrand too often. This is why Google’s new logo will be with us for some time.
As Google stated in at the launch, the new logo is “not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future”.