Remember when a primary objective (obsession?) for corporate marketers was to be forever buffing and polishing the brand identity, like a precious jewel or a classic car?
For marketers schooled in that mindset, it might be difficult to fully appreciate just how much Google is turning the premise of brand management on its head.
A very recent example: Google morphing its home-page logo into a collection of geometric shapes and formulas, in honor of Monday’s date, 3.14 — annual “Pi” day to math nerds everywhere.
And Google again, today, playing off St. Patrick’s Day, with a green, pseudo-Celtic motif.
A tradition-bound brand marketer might have a coronary to think that a logo she has primped and perfected over years could be treated so malleably. Yet Google’s marketing team apparently delights in keeping us guessing about what new costume their identity will assume next.
Should we all start playing “dress up” with our logos, to look and seem edgy like Google? Not necessarily. In fact, almost certainly not. First of all, it’s been done. Plus, chances are our logos don’t get nearly as many opportunities to be seen in their unadulterated state as Google’s does. So best the rest of us keep the logo legerdemain to a minimum.
What it does suggest, at the risk of reading too much into Google’s brand hijinks, might be this: In today’s marketing environment, where the emphasis is on being engaging, approachable and conversational…
- Authenticity — whatever that can and should mean for your brand — trumps rigid identity.
- Brands should take customers and their needs seriously, but take themselves a little less so.
- To engage audiences in committed relationships and ongoing conversations, it’s beneficial to look, act and sound more like a human being and less like a polished marble statue.
Take that away from Google’s quirky displays of logo gymnastics. Apply it to the primary touch points where you connect with your key audiences. And chances are it will make a huge, positive difference in the brand personality — if not the identity — your organization projects.
What do you think? Like Google’s playful logo treatments? Think it detracts from brand equity? Or are you simply bored with them? Welcome your thoughts on how thinking about brand identity is, or should be, evolving.
Post Update (9.16.11). Want to see a bunch of other daring and delightful Google doodles? Check out this link, courtesy of @AskAaronLee, @Allyssa_Milano and @Pepamint83 http://t.co/NInvBAu8,