Google announced earlier this week that it will start a major company shuffle which will lead to a new CEO and parent company named Alphabet.
The internet giant, which was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin will now be working under the Alphabet banner and will consequently need clear boundaries about what it is they do compared to their partners, or else they face suffering from an identity crisis.
Google is synonymous with technology and the internet. The word itself as a verb – to google – suggests to search for something online, and became such a common term in everyday speech that it entered the Oxford Dictionary in 2006. Therefore the sudden revelation that Google will be replaced by Alphabet has come as a shock to many, leading to confusion and concern on social media.
Page, co-founder of Google, will be replaced by Sundar Pichai as CEO, whilst Page moves into the same role for Alphabet. Pichai, who worked on the product and engineering side of the business, will be leading a ‘slimmed-down’ Google, which is retain most of what it’s known for. That includes the Google internet search, Google mail and YouTube, among other things.
Really, all that changes for Google is that some of their financial side will be managed by Alphabet – meaning that they are free to continue working on new internet and technology innovations, which is what made the company famous to begin with. But the main problem Google is facing from this management shuffle is not whether Pichai will be able to lead successfully – after all he’s a widely trusted and respected and just one of a growing number of highly successful Indian CEOs in the tech sector.
Instead, Google’s main concerns should instead be how Pichai can continue to promote Google as a brand in itself. People’s everyday usage of Google is unlikely to change whatsoever, but by bringing the term ‘Alphabet’ into the mix with little clear explanation, the public are going to be uncertain as to whether they’ll be ‘googling’ or ‘alphabeting’ in years to come. Brand consistency is key – as RAND put it: “without brand consistency, customers will lose sight of the message you are trying to portray and vital trust in your business”.