What can we learn from Google’s rebranding?

Google’s themed logos (Google Doodles) for random occasions such as La Tomatina’s 70th anniversary often prove rather distracting, but distraction reached a peak in our office on September 1st when we discovered Google had actually changed their logo. Panic ensued as we came to terms with the fact that one of the most recognisable logos in the world was no more. Despite struggling to deal with this change, the overall consensus was positive. We liked the new logo and thought it was a brave and exciting move, which made perfect sense after the Alphabet announcement. Until now, Google have resisted the trend and the temptation to modernize and flatten their logo such as the likes of eBay, Microsoft, and Coca Cola. So how can small businesses learn from the rebranding of one of the biggest companies in the world? Here’s what we think…

“A rose by any other name is still a rose and Google by any other name is still the internet giant,” – John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director

Google does what it’s supposed to and it does it well, and a rebrand does not change this performance. Customers are generally less interested than you might think in the name of your business as long as it sells them what they need. However, a rebrand is not something that should be taken lightly, particularly a name change. Consider why you are rebranding. If you’re simply just bored with your current brand, you may want to reconsider. You should have a substantive reason for rebranding, rather than a frivolous reason.

Your business name and logo should still serve their main purpose of representing your business. Google’s change to its logo differentiates it from the old one but is subtle enough for it still to be recognisable and representative of the company.

Throw ideas around

You may think you have the perfect idea for a new name or logo, but what do your employees and customers think? Involve them in the decision making process. Have conversations with your employees and your customers about a possible rebrand before you even go ahead with it. Gage their opinions on your ideas for a new name or logo. You may discover their ideas are better than yours!

If you’re changing your business name, research is key. Is it easy to pronounce and spell? Is it already taken by another business? Be certain you know as much as possible about your new business name before you go through the hassle of informing all the relevant authorities!

Time it right and tell the world (or at least your customers)

Google explained their logo change with a blog post:

The ‘update is a great reflection of all the ways Google works for you across Search, Maps, Gmail, Chrome and many others. We think we’ve taken the best of Google (simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly), and recast it not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future.’ The new logo, in either its full form, dots, or simple ‘G’ form, is designed to be used consistently across all devices and mediums, a response to the world’s use of so many different types of technology to access the internet.

The timing was just right for Google. They recently changed their entire company structure and a new logo reflects this new start. Announcing such a big change on September 1st was a brilliant move too, as it’s globally the day when everyone gets their heads back into business after summer holidays.

Whilst the majority of businesses do not have the same global platform as Google does for such an announcement, timing and communication are still important. You should inform customers of your name change at least a month before the actual switchover day to allow them time to adjust to it. Communicate your name change and the rationale behind it through as many channels as possible. Social media, newsletters, advertisement, press releases – get it out there and make it a fixture in people’s brains. A change in logo is more subtle than a name change but should still be actively communicated. Many companies coincide a product launch with a rebrand in order to demonstrate a new name or logo in action.

Rebranding can be pretty scary. If you’re considering a business rebrand but don’t know where to start, we’re here for you. Give us a call to discuss what we can do for your business.

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