Saturday, March 18, 2006

Mutating Logo

In most corporations of any reasonable size, the branding gods have to bless all online and print content that their customers will see. The tone and voice of copy must be reviewed for consistence, colors must be chosen from a branded palette, fonts from a tiny set of approved families and so forth. Needless to say the process is tedious and has little room for creativity. The end result is as boring as it is conformist.

The fact that Google is almost God and chooses to mutate its logo so frequently flies in the face of conventional branding wisdom. As an end-user, I am excited by Google's everchanging stripes. Instead of taking away from its brand equity, it adds pizzazz. What's more it catches the customer's eye.

The reason Google is able to play so many variations on its theme and yet not stray dangerously away from its identity is simplicity. There is not a ton of copy that needs to be rejigged each time the logo acquires a new look. Google's branding strategy clearly won't work for most corporations though there is a very valuable lesson to be learnt in simplicity.

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