Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Posts Tagged ‘Gmail

Google’s All Encompassing Brand

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Google logoBrandChannel has an article explaining that Google is making more of an effort to monetize YouTube through advertising. To anyone familiar with Google, this should come as no surprise. While the company continues to add more products to their expanding empire, they are at heart an advertising company. Everything they create is done in an effort to sell more ads.

Somewhere north of 90% of Google’s revenues come from their highly successful AdWords program. While these often cost less than $1 per click, for a brand with Google’s reach, all of those individual clicks quickly add up to tens of billions of dollars a year.

The brand follows a fairly standard approach to new product lines.

  • Launch a cool product
  • Refine based on user feedback while you grow your user base
  • Collect as much data as possible from users
  • If the product is able to achieve a wide audience, put some ads on it

Search is the clearest example of this, but the same pattern was evident with gmail. More recently, Google has started placing logos on Google Maps.

The beauty of this business model is that, despite what their financial statements say, most people don’t view Google as an advertising brand. Google has managed to separate their product from their revenues in the eyes of most of their users. An advertising brand would be limited in what they could do, but Google is able  to extend their brand in all sorts of new and exciting ways.

What do you think? How tightly linked is your brand to your revenue streams?


Written by benwisebranding

September 7, 2010 at 6:17 pm

The Strategic Path of Brand Extensions, Revisited

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Only a few days ago I wrote about following a strategic path in brand extensions. I wanted to write a quick follow-up as a perfect example of this concept came out today when Google added calendar invitations to email messages (see article).

Google’s integration of their calendar and email services brings their offering in line with the ubiquitous Microsoft Outlook. The seamless integration between email and calendar has long been a key differentiating factor for Outlook and now Google is trying to move into that space.

Google can only credibly do this because of their existing capabilities in the separate areas of email and calendars. Had Google moved from a search engine directly to an integrated email/calendar platform that would have been a jump to far. But you can be sure that Google has seen this coming for a while and today’s announcement is just the culmination of their plan that started with the launch of Gmail.

After Google defined their desired end-state (take on MS Office) they have been able to map out the incremental brand extensions required to get there. Today is the latest step down the strategic path, but expect many more in their quest to bring all computing into the cloud.

What do you think? Will Google’s services replace MS Outlook

Written by benwisebranding

April 15, 2010 at 8:47 pm

How the Google Brand Capitalizes on Data

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For years Google has been expanding their reach, even moving out of the online world, offering new services that have yet to generate any revenue. From a consumer’s point of view, the Google brand is always free. Only a few services, namely search and Gmail, have managed to bring in much cash (YouTube is on its way, but still far behind these two).

In providing an array of free services, they have come to dominate almost all things online and have generated more data on consumers than most people can imagine. This data has allowed them to provide highly targeted ads, which have proven extremely lucrative.

Google has just launched the next evolution of this branded business model. Google Maps in Australia now shows brand logo’s to viewers. Similar to their existing ads, which logo gets presented depends on a multitude of factors around relevance and usage.

While some will highlight this as a big step for location-based advertising, which is certainly true, it also highlights the use of data to the Google brand. Many companies focus their online efforts at brand awareness and sales, there exists massive opportunities from collecting data and using it to draw out insights that help you run your business. At its most basic level, more data helps you make better decisions. And your online operations are a wealth of data. Of course, Google will continue to incorporate data into their existing services to create new revenue streams, but you should also expect other brands to try harder to capture data online and use it to improve their business.

What do you think? Could your brand benefit from more data?

Written by benwisebranding

March 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

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