Identity forgotten

When Google sort of botched their launch of Bard AI integration into search, a smart commentator reminds everyone that Google may have well forgot their identity. The analysis was crisp and contrasted Google and Apple’s product launches to reflect the kind of audience they appealed to and should focus on.

It begs the question if a company or a brand’s identity is meant to hang around and if so, what kind of values should persist as it grows. Or as the market changes. The idea that Google can quietly push out something and slap a Beta sticker to insulate themselves is attractive when their market share is still not exactly dominant in a new space they are trying to enter. Moreover, the pool of audience they had targeted; the ones who would try something new or be eager to take the tech guinea pig role might no longer be enough to feed the company’s need for growth and scale.

So certain aspects of the company changes and one could say the identity is forgotten but it could also mean they have allowed it to be forsaken in order to pursue something else.

The question is what defines the company’s identity? Is it a way of doing things? That’d be too dynamic. Is it the targeted group of customer it serves? Then it’s growth is constrained to the size of that group. Or the pursuit of the company? But surely the world changes and that pursuit gets altered.

In any case Google is long past their “original identity”; and practically all of those dimensions I mentioned above have changed for them. It is up to them to tell the story of their identity’s evolution and redefine what they really want to keep or discard.