Google Need To Stop Micromanaging Their Brand
Say what you will about Google, but their problem isn’t their product.
Where Apple’s iPhone 7 has faced critical derision, their new Pixel and Pixel XL have been welcomed with open arms.
There’s an unpredictability to their market strategy that’s earned them a lot of respect and credit.
Most of Apple’s moves are mapped out and scrutinised long before their actual announcement. For all their talk of innovation, the company is still quite predictable. We know both nothing, and (likely) everything about Apple’s 2017 lineup. We know they’ll release out a new flagship iPhone, offer technical improvements to products that compliment it and, for the umpteenth time, attempt to sell us all on Apple TV.
With Google, things are a little less clear. At the start of last year there was little to no indication about the company’s dramatic move to drop their flagship Nexus line and launch the Pixel in its place. Same goes for the abandonment of Project Ara and the company’s headlong dive into VR with Daydream.
Will 2017 see them make further moves in the VR space? Maybe they’ll take the positive response to Snapchat’s Spectacles as a sign that the world is ready to give Google Glass a second chance?
We have no idea.
However, that instability can easily work against Google’s efforts to build up a brand that can rival Apple.
Take their Chromecast for example. Launched in 2013, Google have shipped over 30 million units and had just started to build up brand recognition for the streaming dongle when suddenly shifted course and rebranded it as the much more-forgettable Google Cast.
Google have now realised their mistake and corrected course. Still, the damage has been done and a lot of in-roads they made with the ChromeCast has been unnecessarily be jeopardized.
Keeping your cards close to your chest is a savvy market move, but not if it leaves customers confused about your inconsistent commitment to the market. They’re hardly going to buy into and invest themselves in the Google product ecosystem if they’re unsure about its longevity.
There’s something to be said for adapting and adjusting to market reception but if Google ever wants to supplant Apple as the gold standard for the market, they need to stop trying to reinvent the wheel every three or four months.
They already have the products good enough to take the top dog spot from Apple, they just need to let them speak for themselves.