Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Could Your Branding Take a Lesson from Alphabet?

There are brands, and there are BRANDS. Surely one of the most recognizable brands in the world is Google, which over the years has blossomed from search engine to search leader to ultimate judge of countless enterprises' online fates. So its decision to create an entire new brand called Alphabet doubtless caused some confusion and apprehension out there in cyberspace. Was Google reinventing itself? Will its mission change? Why redefine a brand that itself has helped define the nature of, and set the rules for, modern SEO as we know it?

Not to worry -- the Google brand remains alive and well, and it will continue to be the search engine we all defer to for the foreseeable future. Alphabet is a larger entity that encompasses not only Google's search engine and associated products (like YouTube), but also the company's ever-growing array of non-search products and services. The latter range from financial enterprises such as Capital and Venture to innovative efforts such as X Lab and the Calico life extension project.

Google has been acquiring more and more of these bold forays into areas that don't bear much relation to SEO -- and the more of them they add to the Google brand, the more watered-down that brand name is likely to get. By breaking the non-search initiatives off from the Google brand and putting everything under Alphabet's umbrella, the Google brand can stay pure. At the same time, Alphabet will give these new companies freedom to promote and reinforce their their individual brands instead of simply being absorbed into the Alphabet brand. Everybody wins.

This is a very large-scale illustration of a situation that I've encountered when writing for independent sales reps in various fields. For example, let's say that John Doe has been marketing himself as a seller of BigCo Home Insurance (all names have been changed to protect -- well, me) and finds the situation limiting. He might prefer to expand into other lines of insurance such as life or health, or he might wish he could make multiple brands of one kind of product available to his customers. What can he do? He can re-brand himself as John Doe Inc. Instead of letting his own identity get lost  in the shadow of the giant like BigCo (with however many thousands of independent reps it boasts), BigCo becomes a product line within the brand he really wants to push -- his own. Of course this means creating all the marketing content necessary to grow and sustain a new brand, including compelling website content, print marketing collateral, press releases to announce the new brand, sales letters to inform existing customers of the change, and social media content to raise awareness of the brand. But the great advantage is that John now has control over his brand identity. Let BigCo do its own marketing! 

What about you? Has your business diversified to the point that the brand could use some clarification? Do you need to re-brand yourself or your company, or even launch a new brand alongside your current one as Google has done? Think about it -- and then contact me for the written content to make that brand stand out!