Today big data, is considered to be yesterday’s news as most successful companies have already moved on with it. But what’s next is more important and for these global or progressive organizations.
Few of the major advancements are data integration(automated machine learning or AI), big little data (basically the tremendous proliferation of small data sets across the web) & video data. The emergence of these are a result of the limitations that big data has as it has been successful in finding trends & correlations across large dimension like population, GDP, timelines, etc. But big data itself is formed with small fractions of data and each fraction has a significant impact on the overall output.
Data integration is also currently happening with the help of technology and combined with big little data, it will throw insights that may change the way we see at information and decision-making. For e.g. models based on not just industry data but sentiment data, inflation, demographics or any other predictive models which may seem unrelated.
But the transition to big little data isn’t going to be easy, as there is tons of information stored in HTML tables across the web that may look ambiguous but will have contextual relevance. Leading this phase are companies like Google & University of Michigan who are looking at these smaller sets and how to make sense of them, so that it can be made user-friendly.
Data integration has been spoken about for sometime but currently its limited due to human intervention. Its needed since massive data sets need a human mind to figure common aspects between otherwise 2 unrelated pieces of data. Currently the algorithms can relate 2 sets of known data sets which are linked but cleaning the data, resolving issues with data and then finding a pattern by its own is still a challenge which can be tackled only by a beautiful mind now. Although there are noticeable breakthroughs achieved this by crowd-sourced data repositories but there is still some way to go. Yet one of the biggest sources of big little data will be the smart phone that houses tons of data which isn’t available out in the market once that comes out data integration will reach another level.
Now the most interesting one – Video data. This actually means extracting streams of data from video. Today world is moving towards video and everywhere videos have taken precedence over pictorial data and this trends has just started and growing. This make big data seem like big little data tomorrow.
All 3 are game changing innovations that are currently worked upon and highly anticipated, just cant wait to see how they change the way we see the world.
Founded in 1998 Google is the world’s largest search engine company headquartered in Mountain View, California. Regarded as the world’s most powerful brand across categories and in its class of search engines it leads by leaps and bounds. “Google” is actually derived from the misspelling of “googol”, which means the digit 1, followed by 100 zeroes. But even the world’s most powerful brand needs a change now and then, to keep pace with changing consumer demands and expectations.
Google was initially nicknamed the “Backrub” that meant supplying infinite information on any desired topic. Over the years Google has evolved and experimented a lot with its logo constantly improving and adding innovative designs to keep pace with the growing portfolio that is now has. Google also played around with a logo on the loading page and till date they have created more than 1500 “Google Doodles” as they call that incorporates different events and occasions. But these are more to make sure that events and occasion across the globe are acknowledged and keep the glocal perception alive in the consumers mind.
The brand logo of Google showcases an extremely strong and dynamic brand that is one of the world’s most popular and instantly recognizable logos. All the colours used in the Google brand logo represent precision, uniqueness, growth, elegance and excellence. From 1998 to 2015, the Google logo has gone through various changes but the latest one is the most significant one. Feel that the new logo is more dynamic and approachable as it looks smoother and yet retained its colour scheme of red, blue, green & yellow.
Over time Google has made minor changes like tweaking letter spaces and shadows etc but the change done in Sept 2015 has major changes in the font and style. Google has updated the logo with sans serif typeface, which incidentally is Google’s creation, that look more fashionable and relevant. Also this font gives the flexibility to offer more legibility than other fonts and works well on responsive sites and screens.
Google has even updated the favicon that appears on the screen when you load a google site on the browser tab with the 4 colours and G in caps to give it more colourful yet an extension of the new logo unit.
That’s not all the biggest thing Google did with the logo change is that they made the logo interactive or animated which very few brands have done. The earlier one was completely static and now the letters in Google transform into a series of four dots that morph and orbit with life. During a voice search the Google logo will transform from ‘Google’ into the dots they will become like an equaliser, reacting to the sound of vocalizations. The moment your done the waveform will transform back into dots and spin as Google once the results are out.
So if we try to understand there is a lot of meaning to this change of logo that has happened and it’s not just a change because the new management wanted to show something new. Yes agree new management comes with a new perspective but that perspective has to be in the interest of the consumers and not that “Change is the only constant” phrase. The change also signifies that Google believes in its future products and ventures and this logo incorporates all those values and beliefs for a better future. The entire idea of the change in logo was to make Google better and make it more accessible for all consumers because logos are icons and if the icons are friendly it will make sure more and more people use Google.
Am sure that everyone at Google would have worked really hard to bring about this change of making Google more Googley, as it would have been a collaborated effort to make the brand more friendly and dynamic. And they have shown that it doesn’t take a radical design shift to showcase that you have changed it just small things that make a big difference about how consumers perceive changes.
A logo is the visual representation of your company’s identity that differentiates a product from being a commodity. Consumers are exposed to thousands of logos throughout the day and it’s difficult to remember each one of them. And hence its imperative for the brands to differentiate not just by the visual logos but something else. Therefore the logos of each brands should strike a personal cord else its just a colourful visual for the consumer. Every logo must have a meaning for every element else its just a creative, it should stay true to the brands identity yet being fashionable/modern.
Some of the large brands keep updating or changing their logos regularly, and some of their changes are more drastic than others. Some of history’s biggest logo evolution’s were a step forward for their companies, but others prompted a negative response from customers. But why do brands change logo’s is still a huge question I often ask, is it really necessary ?
One thing I have observed over the years, the time when top management changes the logos seem to change, I guess it’s the quickest way to announce an arrival of a big change that big boss has made. But there are times when genuinely the logo change is the need of the hour, particularly when the brand has faced some flak from the consumers for an issue or issues. And the brand wants to respond back that we have changed not just visuals but everything that the consumer wanted them to change in the brand, logo is just one visual that connotes the change.
Let’s take a look at some of the logo progressions of all time.
Starbucks Logo – Gradual and towards modernity
Starbucks is a good example of a logo progression that eases customers into a new style while preserving the essence of their old logo. The key reason for the last logo change was to remove ‘COFFEE’ from the logo which the company felt was limiting it in its plan to expand to products other than Coffee.
Also the changes are subtle and will not alienate the loyalist if we see the logos in sequence.
Canon Logo – Extreme but much-needed
Canon was the first organization to manufacture Japan’s first 35mm camera and was originally known for Seikikōgaku kenkyūsho (meaning Precision Optical Industry Co) that was called the “Kwanon.” This early 1934 Canon logo depicts an ancient Asian Buddhist female sitting on a lotus flower with thousands of arms. Soon Canon removed the visual depiction of Kwanon, and in 1935 decided to change its name to Canon instead. This name and logo change opened up to a more international market from 1947 onwards and they have done well since then.
Apple Logo – Modernization personified
Was surprised to see how Apple looked back in 1976 when they first launched. The logo was vintage styled on designed by Ron Wayne that featured a pastoral scene of Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. This logo was extremely wannabe and Steve Jobs noticed the same and later that year hired graphic designer Rob Janoff, who simplified the logo to just an apple and included a bite so that it wouldn’t be confused with a cherry. Steve Jobs insisted that Janoff also make it colorful, as back then tech companies were perceived to be non exciting. So to humanize the company and make it seem more welcoming for the average, non-tech-savvy user colours were used. But today, Apple has adopted a modern and premium look to match its smooth and glossy products like the IMac, Ipad, Iphone, etc.
Nokia Logo – From Fish to Phones, an eventful journey
Nokia when started actually had a fishy logo, but that’s because Nokia has gone through some tough changes since its launch. It started as a Finnish paper mill, and then they opened a second mill near the town of Nokia on the Nokianvirta river. Since then, Nokia ventured into several sectors over the years, including cable, mobile devices, paper products, rubber boots and tires, and telecommunications infrastructure equipment that is clear in their logo evolution. But before the Microsoft acquisition Nokia was known as a reputed mobile manufacturer.
Now lets take a look at logo evolution’s that didn’t go well.
At times brands try to do too much or very little that ends up confusing their loyal customers and spells disaster. And then they end up retracting their blunders.
Gap Logo – Playing with the logo doesn’t pay all the time
In 2010 Gap wanted to make their logo more contemporary and hence they changed from their original blue and white box to something that they considered modern. The new logo received a lot of flak from the consumers and they perceived as if it was something someone at GAP tried in MS Office templates. The original Gap logo was well-accepted by the consumers and they already perceived it to be modern and premium looking. They did the same mistake again in 2012 and again went back to the original blue and white logo.
Kraft Logo – Too much creativity makes brand forget their ethos
Kraft is a 100 yr old organization and surely they too would have changed their logos in this period. And during all this time they a distinct logo of a red band outside the text, but in a 2009 press release Kraft announced that they were giving their “logo a face-lift to more clearly deliver ‘delicious’” through a colorful burst and a blue line reminiscent of a smile. Although there were some fans of this particular logo but it was perceived to be very different from the original and hence not Kraft. More colours, lower case characters and importantly no red band meant that consumers couldn’t easily recognize the Kraft products on shelves. Hence they had to go back to basics and get the red band and text inside.
To be continued with Part II of the blog that will have the Google Logo Evolution and the conclusion…..
“We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.” — Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
The global digital market today is growing at astounding pace and this is mainly due to innovations in the telecommunications markets and improved infrastructure. This has enabled people today, to afford a smartphone with an high speed internet connection. 42% of the global population today is actively using the internet & 67% of those using the internet are on social media.
And especially in the developing markets where internet access is mainly via the mobile medium the use of social media is even more. Taking specific case of India, people here are adept to use a Facebook or a Whatsapp more than anything on the phone. There are phones launched in the name of Facebook and there are even schemes from the network service providers focusing only on how good their offering is w.r.t internet surfing or how their plans are the best when it comes to consuming social media.
Facebook today is a household name across the globe with more than 1.28 Bn active users across the world, and this number is growing by the day. Below are some facts about FB that gives some idea about how big is FB.
Things i feel that made Facebook the giant it is today
Word-of-Mouth at Scale
Today this medium which was intended to be a social sharing / meeting platform (staying connected) has becoming one of the hottest marketing tools after Google to exploit. Marketeers are are investing huge sum of monies on this platform as it can target as well as Google but at the same time it also has the option of using the biggest platform which Google lacks, via mobile numbers. Making this one of the most potent marketing tools which in its own way makes it unique online as well as offline medium.
Stories are planted on the brand pages based on the analytics about the TG in terms of behavior as to which kind of topics they like and accordingly stories are crafted. These organic stories are extremely effective at getting people and the things they care about.
The other option which I feel FB started but is a big let down is sponsored ads which are intrusive and spoil the entire FB experience. Its like giving the platter on a silver spoon but spoiling their own UEx. Donno when but it will have a backlash on the brand sooner or later. Its become a tool for marketeers who either are lazy creating stories or content that their TG likes or just want to extract the juice of this platform rather than nurturing this and milking at a steady pace.
Staying connected was the motto Zuckerberg started this venture with, which was an extremely nice thought but end of the day there is no free lunch and now FB is cashing in on its popularity by introducing various intrusive marketing tools. And somehow I feel this is all driven by the fact that Google makes millions of dollars and somehow FB now wants to follow their footsteps and start making their millions.
All of this started during the pre-industrial revolution during the 18th century where everything was hand-made and was made to order. Barter of goods and services was the way, trade operated in those times. This was known as the trade era where traders had an upper hand in selling stuff for a margin in terms of getting upgraded products/services in return for their offerings.
Then came the production era where mass production was the name of the game. One size fits all was thought that all believed in and the belief that “people buy what we make”, it worked well especially considering that there was no or extremely limited competition. This era lasted from industrial revolution from 1860’s to early 19th century.
Following the production era was the era where sales played a pivotal role in the industry forming it the sales era. Due to the mass production markets got saturated which resulted in product demand plummet. More and more companies entered into the production era and commoditized the market making it difficult for the companies to sell their products as there was hardly any differentiation. Pricing played a pivotal role in convincing the consumers to buy products from a particular manufacturer. This era lasted till the middle of 19th century.
After sales era there was dire need for the companies to give the consumers products that they needed rather than what they could make. This innate need started the era of marketing where companies realized that consumers now had multiple options and they would need to differentiate their products from other manufacturers. In other words real branding started emerging during this phase where all companies started targeting certain segments in the society to ensure that they catered needs of that particular segment through their product/services. Later on during the same era customization also played a key role and changed the way companies made products. Businesses existed because they fulfilled some unmet consumer need, and they realized that consumer is now the king who needs to be served with what he wants and how he wants.
And today in the marketing era the role of digital marketing is not just a fad but whole new way of reaching and engaging consumers. A couple of years back, large companies mandated the use of this medium and allocated specific budget like 10% of the total media spends have to be on digital but today, the medium has not just proved itself but redefined how marketing has to be done. I would say it has enabled marketers to achieve individual marketing rather than segment/mass marketing. With the help of tools made by companies/brands like Google, FB, etc it has enabled marketers to market their products and services to an extremely specific set of people which is the IDEAL TG. Products and services are now being launched online and that launch has a much better impact / result as compared to traditional launch since it reaches the right audience, in time and is completely measurable. A simple e.g. to showcase importance of this medium is to see any established company today when they dish out a role for a brand manager / marketing manager it has a mention of a particular skill-set i.e. Digital Marketing.
I think the future of marketing will be something where consumers will try and create products themselves by just customizing everything. Depending on he consumer preferences which is tracked by Google and many other companies marketers could show them creatives that they are more likely to get influenced from. Although this may be an expensive proposition of creating multiple edits but if we look at the end result I think the effort will really lend value as it will generate higher sales.