Monday, June 22, 2009

Google - A Great Young Brand

I want to start this post by thanking everyone for reading my blog, and to those who have been leaving such great comments! I really appreciate it! As I mentioned in my first post this is a topic I'm extremely passionate about. So to read such engaging comments is a real thrill. Thank you very much!

Today I want to talk about Google, an extremely young brand that has been experiencing unbelievable growth in users, brand value, etc. To think Google's extensive and loyal user following has been the result of word of mouth with virtually no advertising - this is very impressive. And Google's brand value has grown approximately 45% year-over-year for the past 3 years. In 2007 it was ranked 20th on Interbrand's Top 100 Global Brands Report; and in 2008 it jumped to #10 with a value of $25.6 billion.

Even with all this phenomenal growth and loyal following, there is still questioning as to whether Google will have long-term standing power as a great brand. It's a valid curiosity as Google is still a very young brand. However, tying back to my
previous post, I believe Larry Page and Sergey Brin have built a clock - a great brand with a strong foundation. To have built a clock (aka a great brand) means you have an organization that will be able to pursue its purpose and remain focused throughout the ages - so, even though CEOs, executives and employees may come and go, the purpose of the organization always remains consistent.

What Google did to begin building their clock was to have focus - making search better. And from that initial idea came their guiding purpose:
Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. In everything Google does, you can see they are set on pursuing their goal, from creating a free email service that takes users right to their email and not cluttering the experience with weather, news, etc., to capturing the entire world on Google maps. Even in the development of their latest innovations, people have access to Google Labs, so they can learn about the next great thing from Google. Google is all about making information easy to find and use!

So to ensure 'Googlers' (what Google calls its employees) are able to execute on the company's purpose it has created its "
Ten Things". This is a list which breaks down Google's philosophy/core values. So when a Googler goes to do something, he/she can ask themselves "Is this doing good?" ... "Is this making information easier to access?". By asking these questions and following the 10 Things, it is easier for employees to make decisions without having to rely on top level management. However, Google has done a good job not to make their guiding principles too focused. This allows for flexibility, which is always good for the longevity of an organization as you may not know how your business will change 10, 20, 50 years down the road.

Even the way Google hires and fosters its employees aids in the development of its clock! Google embraces intellectual curiosity and passion with its employees - Google encourages it staff to be themselves. To help foster innovation, Google has a
20% Time Program which gives engineers 20% of their time at work to pursue personal interests. It is these kinds of programs that help foster innovation, and it's innovation you need when you are trying to accomplish such an audacious goal as Google is! 

Google's exciting purpose, its 10 guiding principles & employee programs are what makes me believe that Google has built an amazing clock - a brand that, I think, will be around for many more years! But that's not to say Google will never have any hiccups, I'm almost certain they will as most brands do! I'll talk about that next time...

Thanks GK for the inspiration for this post based on your last comment!

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