G is for…

How one identity changed the industry forever

Much has been said about Google’s activity over recent weeks. From the restructuring of the corporate architecture with the creation of Alphabet to the refreshing of the Google identity. It’s fair to say that the tech giant has been busy!

I should probably start by saying that when I first saw the new Google word mark, I didn’t ‘like’ it. I thought it looked immature and unsophisticated.

However, having had time to understand the full system they have created as well as the process they went through it’s fair to say I have taken a big U-turn and changed my mind. The level of craft and consideration that went it to the new system is exemplary.

The new system is a comprehensive evolution and shines a light on a new era of brand application. It has been perfected for serving the digital generation, complementing the functionalities of multiple screens, from mobile devices to wearable technologies.

In creating the new system Google has defined the future for brand design. No longer is a corporate identity solely for static use on signage and stationery. With the proliferation of digital media comes new and exciting ways for businesses to communicate to their audiences. All of this new media also means that there are a number of ways, shapes and sizes your brand needs to be applied and recognised.

Google has thoroughly considered the many touch points they have with their audience and have crafted a beautiful execution of the brand specific for each of those touch points. But not only that, each application has a unique function beyond being a simple identifier.

The dots for example, don’t just to tell you that you’re using Google; they animate to communicate specific functionality like listening, thinking and confirming. They spiral into a four-colour G that brilliantly represents the full logo on the tiniest of screens. This highly dynamic and scalable approach paves the way for the next evolution in branding, one that reflects the shift to the digital age.

The simplicity of Google’s new brand gives a number of lessons for every business wanting to be relevant for the future:

No company is too big to change.

If Alphabet and Google can adopt such dramatic change then the rest of us surely have no excuse.

Make sure your brand is ready for the future.

The Google system has in many ways shown us the future. Understandably not every business is in the same position as Google and needs such a comprehensive manifestation of their brand but it is a sign of things to come and being the last to adopt such a move could be costly for your business.

Simplicity is key.

Reflecting on Google’s brand I dare say all aspects couldn’t be more simple… the typeface, the dots, the ‘G’. Google is a hugely complex business but they haven’t got bogged down with overcomplicated articulation of their products and services, they’ve represented all of what they do without an over complicated logo, subjective slogan or feature-heavy copy. They chose simplicity, and who can argue with that!

Understand how your customers engage with and use your brand.

By adapting the brand depending on use, Google has ensured that whoever uses their brand and however they use it they have a consistent approach to recognition. This ultimately builds equity and improves the overall experience, ensuring your audience truly connect with your brand.

Google has always set the benchmark for innovation and has almost single handedly transformed marketing. With the launch of the new brand, Google has shown it can innovate beyond tech and has shown us that these are exciting times in branding.

We can’t wait to see how our industry stands up, takes note and continues to innovate!


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