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Idea: The Role Content Plays in the Value of a Brand

Google just completed a major redesign of its logo. Its new logo will likely be ranked as a significant branding event of the year. In the long term, however, the new logo won’t have much impact on the company or its brand.

Google also just completed a major overhaul of its corporate structure that established an umbrella organization named Alphabet. Unlike the new logo, the new corporate structure will have a tremendous impact on the company for a long time to come. It is a far more significant marketing event than Google’s new logo.

Why? Because the new structure provides Alphabet the ability to evolve the story it tells its investors, its employees and most importantly, its customers.

Changing its structure and name gives the company the ability to constantly add to the story of what it is and what it can become. It provides Alphabet the flexibility to evolve Google’s story beyond “search.” It can tell the story of driverless vehicles and wearable technology and dozens more ideas that could change the world.

Branding isn’t something that’s accomplished with a new logo. Branding is the sum of the stories that a company can articulately, creatively, honestly and memorably tell in such a way that they are soon retold by employees and customers, and eventually become part of the lore of an industry or even pop culture.

Each year, various publications and research firms issue rankings of the world’s most valuable brands. For example, Forbes currently ranks these as the top five: (1) Apple (brand value: $145.3 Billion), (2) Microsoft ($69.3), (3) Google ($65.6), (4) Coca-Cola ($56), (5) IBM ($49.8).

However, such rankings are not based on any rules of accounting, but are attempts to isolate in the overall market value of a company such factors as revenues from licensing, ROI on marketing and a long list of other things that used to be called “good will.”

Bottom Line to Marketers: The value of a brand, no matter how it is defined, depends on how much value a company places on the stories used to describe what it is and why it exists—and how effectively those stories are shared.

(Photo: Trenten Kelley via Flickr. CC BY-ND 2.0)


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