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Google's Brand Messaging Gone Wrong

April 6, 2012

Just the other day we were talking about Google and its being found guilty in an Australian court for deceptive advertising. Today we’re looking at some more court settlements regarding advertising. As a Scottsdale advertising firm ourselves, it’s remarkable to dive into the brand that is Google, the motto “Do no evil,” and the plain misrepresentation of its message over the past few years.

Consistency in Messaging

In order to increase brand equity and to keep customers coming back, you must remain consistent to your brand message. As an advertising firm here in Scottsdale, we’ve seen many brand marketing plans go by the wayside as business owners become swayed by money, influence, and the economy. Google is showing that it is really no different by blatantly falling from its “Do no evil” motto and “Making money without doing evil.”


To be honest, Google doesn’t promote their “Do no evil” motto much anymore. In fact, their executives will not even say it allowed. Bu the fact remains that it was a founding principle that Google’s audience understood. It was a brand message that connected with their audience, and in return grew their audience into brand advocates. Google’s audience knew that they would get the best results, non-biased and transparent results when they conducted searches on the Google engines. Boy have things changed.


Brand Equity and Message Destruction

It’s incredibly interesting to take not of this idea; is Google too big to fail? I know you’ve heard that phrase before when talking politics and banks, but in truth is Google too big and too powerful to fail as it destroys its own brand message? How is it managing to toss away its “Do no evil” motto without losing any ground, in fact while gaining ground and increasing their audience?


In tossing aside its stated mission as a neutral search engine, Google is bowing to some strong outside pressures. Advertisers are shifting more ad dollars to Facebook, which is doing all it can to keep its members inside its walled gardens. So Google changes its search engine to lure more people into its own social site. But it risks lowering its standards to Facebook’s level, becoming a site more devoted to ad dollars than people. And slowly, what was once the Web’s public commons is turning into a collection of gated communities. –


Google’s brand equity is strong, and as an advertising firm we have complete respect for that fact, which allows them to make changes to its advertising policies, privacy policies, and much more without losing ground. In February of this year, the month right before some huge privacy policies changed, Google took 66.4% of the U.S. search market share, up .2% from January.


“Google is an advertising company we all think of as a search engine.” –