What would Google look like if you removed all the brands?
Let’s just say it would not be a pretty picture. You’d have a lot of blogs or “one-guy-in-a-garage” companies purporting to answer your questions and solve your problems – a “cesspool,” as Eric Schmidt once called it.
Google does not necessarily favor brands in its search results but it does focus on trust, authority, reputation, and quality when deciding what websites to rank in what order. These attributes, of course, are typically the domain of brands.
Many studies have been conducted showing that search engine marketing (SEM) can improve brand awareness, perception, favorability, etc. Not bad for a few lines of text. As a result, Google is capturing more brand advertising dollars and not just direct response budgets.
AT&T positions its brand as an answer for people seeking entertainment or personal connection. By doing so, it’s increased its social media fan-base by over 700%.
The key for marketers is to know what questions your brand(s) can be the answer to and make sure your product or service speaks for itself. Shift your acquisition and retention messaging from “advertising” to “service offering.”
“Google is the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.”
“Google has greater potential value as a marketing partner when it is the connective tissue between people and things they emotionally care about.”
“Search engine marketing is so much more than driving transactions, it drives experiences.”
“The best brands are those you build emotional connections with.”
– Steven Hall, Professor, College Of Media, University of Illinois
“Your brand’s real value to prospective customers is always just one Google-click away.”
Quick, your CFO’s coming. You’d better have answers.