In a mere 16 years, Google has gone from a one-product company to a company that has more projects than it can count. It has been constantly reinventing itself and has stayed innovative at every turn, which has been one of the key factors for growing its brand. But how has Google managed to stay on top of the competition and continually churn out new and exciting products?
As we develop our own brands, it’s important to watch players like Google and learn from how they are winning. They consistently reinvent themselves and position their brand steps ahead of their competitors.
Below are some ways they continue to produce innovative and creative branding.
Looking for Innovation in Every Sphere
While Google doesn’t have an innovation department, every employee of the company is encouraged to be creative and contribute their ideas for new products. As a result, employees are constantly throwing ideas out, many of which are welcomed by the company and incorporated into its big picture.
A good example is an algorithm Google’s search engine uses for search queries relating to suicide. The chief health strategists managed to convince the higher-ups that it was the company’s moral responsibility to ensure the results first provided the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number as the top result. It’s decisions like these that make Google a great example for continuous branding.
Today, we can learn to implement a culture of creative ideas. If employees feel comfortable sharing and you provide the outlet to make it possible, you’ll get many ideas to work with. They should also feel valued and that what they contribute matters. This means listening to them and implementing the ideas that work.
When your team is passionate about what they do and consistently churn ideas, you’ll find unique opportunities to innovate.
Resolve the User’s Problem
Why is it that some products become a success, while others do not? It all boils down to the consumer - if a product resolves a customer’s problem, a product is considered a success.
Google doesn’t believe in counting the money involved in creating a product. Rather, it focuses on the user. Instant search marketing is an example of Google’s attempt to resolve the problem of ads on search engine websites. It offers search results as you type in the keyword which hardly gives people any time to see advertisements. Nonetheless, Instant Search has become so popular, that users keep returning to Google to search for information online.
Ask yourself not what’s better or more convenient for you, but what’s better for the customer. Even if it is at an expense to you, it’s probably a short-term loss compared to the long-term success and profits you could expect when you build an extraordinary brand.
Make a Dramatic Change
When Google launched its Google Books in 2004, it did not have the money or technology at the time to undertake this project. Rather than sitting back and letting fate take its course, Google went all out to improve Google Books. Despite multiple copyright lawsuits, Google was able to partner with multiple libraries and educational institutions to complete its goal of creating a digital library of written works.
The company didn’t let lack of resources pose an obstacle and managed to overcome all hurdles to ensure this major project became a huge success. Currently, Google Books has over 30 million scanned books in its library and is considered one of the largest online bodies of knowledge.
Google was able to identify an industry that was outdated and ripe for change. In your own sphere, that might be something that looks like “it’s always been done this way even though it doesn’t make sense”. For example, an obvious hurdle customers have to go through. Or perhaps a process that makes things more expensive for you and the purchaser. These are things that could be improved on and that could shake an industry.
Usually, you are disrupting the status quo. It feels dramatic and dangerous. But that’s what sets you apart from the others and creates a strong brand.
Launch and Change
There is no such thing as a perfect product. Every product has scope for improvement. This relates to the reason why Chrome is the number one browser in the world.
Google could have waited to introduce the browser until it was perfect, however, they chose to release Chrome on time, with regular updates and bug fixes. Now every six weeks a newer version of the browser is released with small changes that help make the product more user-friendly.
The keyword here is action. People love to follow a brand that’s doing exciting things. It might not be perfect, but you will attract early adopters, build awareness, and have time to improve. It also opens the door for live feedback, which helps you avoid costly expenses trying to change something that might not be a priority and you could only know by studying the people who use it.
There is nothing wrong with failure - accept it and move on. Google views failure as a stepping stone to success and takes pride in its failures.
Failed products, such as Buzz, Google Dictionary, and Google Wave didn’t stop the company from pursuing innovation and creating new and more useful products. Many features from these failed products were implemented in Google’s other applications.
For example, the create and collaborate features of Google Wave, where multiple users were able to work on the same document at once, managed to find use in Google Drive.
Develop great ideas. Test them. Build the ones that show promise. Continue the ones that succeed and learn from the ones that fail. As you look back, you’ll see that every single moment was part of the process to future success
Accepting failure eliminates the fear of innovation.
It is by following these strategies and tricks that Google has managed to stay innovative as a brand and keeps attracting the best talents and loyal customers.
Use these principles to implement innovation for your own brand. The more innovation you can produce, the more likely you develop a brand that sticks out from others and that benefits from unrivaled products.