It’s tough to imagine why a company the size of Google, with the reputation of Google, would refresh their brand. The Google logo is recognized globally.
Why would a well-known company do a brand refresh? Simple. As audience habits and expectations evolve, so must their brand.
What is a brand refresh?
Just to refresh your memory (horrible pun intended) a brand refresh is a makeover for your company identity system. The refresh maintains a visual connection to how the brand was recognized. But the “new suit” makeover is up-to-date, vibrant and captivating. To explore how this may be different from a complete rebrand (yes, they’re two different concepts) hop on over to our website for a quick or not so quick read about rebranding (depends how deep you dive, really).
Google’s refreshed look
Today, September 1st, 2015, Google announced a refresh of their brand. Actually they officially announced an evolved look and they reminded us this isn’t the first time Google has changed their logo:
The big question is … why the refresh?
These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices—sometimes all in a single day… Today we’re introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens.
Google claims the brand refresh is for brand awareness. If you’re using a Google product they want you to know it’s a part of the Google family. Thus the new cohesion across their various brand assets: Their four colors are now part of the Google microphone and the G icon.
If we dive a little bit deeper and recall the recent creation of Alphabet as the parent company of all Google products, this update appears to be a refresh rather than a logo redesign. With a parent company, Google search and other Google products should still have cohesive branding to keep them a part of the Alphabet family, but with a bit of individuality, a bit of independence. Each entity will carry the trust and credibility the Google brand has built, but isn’t directly related to Google search.
A brand refresh for new audience expectations
Google makes it very clear in their explanation of the brand refresh–they did it for the evolving expectations of their audiences. They know their audiences use their products in different places and on different devices now. And they know each audience group uses only specific Google products and ignores others. Google observed evolving habits and the particular places where Google solved audience’s problems. Only after understanding their audience did Google refresh their brand.
On a final note…
I’m going to say it here and now. There is one fact that makes me a bit skeptical about this brand refresh: Google’s 18th birthday is on September 27th… That’s less than a month away. Google tends to go above and beyond on holidays. I wonder what they have in store for their 18th birthday? The timing of this brand refresh has me suspicious.
Wondering about a brand refresh or rebrand? We can help.
- Visit our logo gallery to see examples of new brand identity systems.
- Read more on our blog about the visual and verbal brand, guided by positioning.
- Understanding your audiences is critical to good branding, read more
- Messaging helps you articulate the value of your brand