I also wrote a blog post about the Google Doodle not too long ago myself, and you can read that here if you’d like: http://jimjosephexp.blogspot.com/2010/02/google-doodle.html
But the segment on CBS Sunday Morning raised a marketing issue that I had not thought of when I wrote my original blog post. Is it ok to alter your logo?
When thinking through the magic of the Google Doodle, I hadn’t thought of how it literally changes the Google logo over and over again. It’s Marketing 101 not to play around with your logo, partly because you want consumers to always recognize and relate to it but also because you don’t want to subject your brand to identity theft. If you start altering it, then that gives license for others to alter it and steal it too. A basic principle in branding.
Hmmm. What’s a doodle to do?
Now of course it is completely legit in marketing circles to update your logo and evolve it over time. The classics have done it many times over the years. Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Tide, Federal Express, etc. But is it ok to alter it over and over all the time?
In thinking it through I decided that “it depends”. If part of your brand experience is to have a logo identity that is dynamic and keeping up with pop culture and celebrating life’s events, then yes it’s ok. It’s part of the brand essence and an intrinsic part of the brand experience. Like the Google Doodle, which has become a part of pop culture in and of itself, and regular participants in the brand have come to expect it and in fact enjoy it.
But if it’s not a part of the brand experience, then leave the logo alone. Keep it sacred and a consistent, as a core part of the brand’s identity.
What’s your experience? Jim.