Thursday, October 28, 2010

Google Insider Shares Secrets behind Building a World-Class Brand

Started out in 1996 as a research project by a couple of Stanford PHD students, a search engine has since become a world-wide phenomenon and household name.

By Cecilia Li

Started out in 1996 as a research project by a couple of Stanford PHD students, a search engine has since become a world-wide phenomenon and household name. Google, with only 14 years in existence, is today seen as the world's most powerful brand.

"Many people wonder how Google has been able to achieve the brand awareness that it has. Well, I am going to share a few strategies that Google uses that enables it to become the world- class brand that it has today." said Jim Lecinski, Managing Director of U.S. Sales at Google, among other business professionals, in a recent luncheon.

Jim Lecinski heads the Sales and Marketing division of Google. His responsibilities include leading Google's national advertising business with major world marketers and media agencies. He holds an MBA from the University of Illinois Chicago.

"At Google, we use a two-by-two matrix that helps us devise what to do more and what to minimize in terms of marketing and strategy." Jim Lecinski said.

Lecinski went on to explain that the upper right hand corner of the 2-by-2 matrix, labeled "Good and planned", is where Google focuses on to identify initiatives that fall into this category.

Google's 2 by 2 matrix, from left to right and top to bottom are labeled: Not so good but planned, good and planned, good and unplanned and not good and unplanned.

He gave examples. "Closing down a plant is a planned but not so good experience and therefore it falls in the upper left quadrant. Introducing innovative products that benefit our users falls into the upper right hand." He continued. "The key is to do more of what is considered good and something that is planned."

Lecinski shared a couple of programs that was introduced by Google to further customer loyalty and increase its brand awareness, which fall into the upper right hand quadrant of "Planned and good".

In November 2009, Google introduced the "Free WiFi for the holidays" initiative which allows travelers to gain free internet access with a WiFi-enabled laptop at 47 participating airports in the U.S. during the holiday season. The program launched with great success with both participating airports and individual travelers benefiting. Users were able to connect with their family, friends and colleagues in a carefree way and at zero cost, during the holiday season.

"The benefits are multiple-fold," said Lecinski. "Receiving a gift that provides convenience during the holiday season sends the message that Google is a generous brand that cares about its users having a good time during the holidays."

Another strategy that has continually been used by Google to make its brand highly desirable is exclusivity.

"People want things that they can't have," said Lecinski.

When Google first introduced Gmail, users needed to be sent an invitation in order to join. The notion of needing to be invited generates much buzz and adds glamour and exclusivity to a brand." This tactic was again deployed when recently Google launched Google Voice," said Lecinski.

Having been ranked consecutively as the world's most powerful brand by BrandZ, a well recognized global brand equity database, Google continues to trump such rivals as Microsoft, Coca-Cola and IBM, which have been in existence much longer than the search engine
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