Brands can make or break a culture. The strongest brands we’ve known have created a new norm not only in their industry but also in society in general. Last week, we kicked off our three-part blog series on The Bold and the Brilliant: Brands that Made a Difference by Being Different. We first looked at Apple and the keys to its continued success.
Today we’ll put the spotlight on search engine giant Google. Nobody can probably undermine Google’s success story. It has become an indispensible part of the web and to some extent it rings true to people’s lives as well. Practically everything can be Googled already! For younger netizens, it is almost instinctive to use Google for anything they want to know. Let’s take a peek at Google’s transformation from being a college search engine to a global brand leader.
A Brief History of Google
Google is the brainchild of Larry Page and Sergey Brin who met at Stanford University in 1995. The following year, they created a search engine called BackRub which used links that determined the relevance of webpages. In 1998, Google Inc. was born with the help of the $100,000 check invested by Sun co-founder Andy Bechtol even if it was virtually non-existent back then. Page and Brin coined the term Google which is a play on the word “googol,” a mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros. It represents their goal to provide infinite information on the internet. The company has been doing this with increasing efficiency ever since, leading the market share in the US by 67% ahead of Bing and Yahoo!.
Google continued to expand its borders with the launch of multiple of products over the past years. In 2000, Google launched AdWords, a program that allows users to create online advertisements. It is also the main source of Google’s revenue, generating $43.6 billion in revenue in 2012. In 2003, Google acquired Pyra Labs, the creator of Blogger. In 2004, the company launched Gmail. Gmail’s threaded messages, big storage, and quick search are some of the innovations Google created to give users a better email experience. They also acquired photo sharing site Picasa and digital mapping company Keyhole that same year. In 2005, they launched Google Maps and Google Earth. A year later, Google acquired video sharing site YouTube. In 2007, Google launched Android, an open platform for mobile devices in collaboration with multiple companies under the Open Handset Alliance. In 2008, the web browser Google Chrome was launched. In 2010, the company released the Nexus line of products with the launch of Nexus One to showcase the capabilities of Android devices. Google+ was launched the year after to give a fresh take on social networking.
What Makes Google Different?
Page once said that Google is the “perfect search engine.” The company ensured that it stayed true to the claim of one of its founders by providing text predictions, spell check, and reliable sources. He added that Google “understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want.” Since its inception, Google has invested millions of dollars on its very own technology. If you look into the history of its algorithms, you will see that it constantly seeks to improve search results by providing sources with quality content. Its latest update, the Hummingbird algorithm aims at understanding concepts and not just keyword-search alone. Google recognizes that user queries are becoming more varied and complicated and they need to match this with a more dynamic and efficient way of providing results. In fact, one of their company philosophies is “It’s best to do one thing really, really well.” Searching is what they are known for and they are not just leading the industry, they have become the standard for everybody else.
Google’s focus on efficiency has translated into the creation of a one-stop shop for netizens all over the world. Gmail, for example, is not your typical email provider. From there, you can share documents and edit them real-time using Google Docs and Google Drive. If you want to shift to another app, you can simply click on the grid at the upper right hand corner and see the links to Google+, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play, Blogger, Google Translate, and many more! You also have the Google search bar on your Gmail homepage. It works both as your typical email search and also as web keyword search when you press shift + enter. You don’t have to open another tab or type another address. You can shift tasks without hassle. This seamless integration helps people work easier and faster online. Even if you’re mobile, you have the Android that hosts these applications along with Google Chrome, allowing you to work with more flexibility and increased efficiency. Each acquisition and product launch that Google embarks on becomes a part of its dynamic online ecosystem. This, in turn, enhances user experience of the web. In fact, Google has also shown its commitment to an open web by partnering with other developers in creating projects that will optimize the web and propel its progress further. Its continuous effort of integrating different platforms not only benefits them but also the entire internet community.
Google is ever evolving—from honing its search engine capabilities to increasing its products—its continued growth remains unparalleled over the years. It is a brand that has evolved from being a noun to a verb being used daily. Its owners have a sense of brilliant discontent that drives them to improve their core product even more while continuously developing others. It ranks second to Apple as the world’s most valuable brand and we wouldn’t be surprised if it steals the number one spot anytime soon. Sure Google is now a Goliath but it started as a David, too. They became successful because they strived to be the best at what they do and was never complacent about what they’ve achieved. Google’s mission is simple. It is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” They focused, invested, and innovated based on that mission. The good news is, you can do that, too!
As a business owner, there is one thing your company is known for. There is a product that brings in the most revenue for your company. Find ways to improve your core product and explore areas where you can integrate the best practices in that product to other areas in your business. Integrate efficiency and quality in every product you have. Keep in close rhythm with the growing demands of your customers and meet them. Success is within reach to those who are willing to improve and move along with the changes surrounding them. If you don’t believe us then you can probably guess our next suggestion—Google it.
Check out other brands on our Bold and Brilliant Series!
- The Bold and the Brilliant: How Facebook Created a Global Social Network
- The Bold and the Brilliant: How Google Became More than a Brand
- The Bold and the Brilliant: Brands that Made a Difference by Being Different
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