Google Marketing Director on the Physics of Marketing

by Jeremy Powers on August 31, 2010

When Google’s marketing management talks about branding, it is probably a good idea for those of us without billion dollar brands to listen and see what might apply to our businesses.  In this case, Dan Cobley talks about how he views physics and marketing to have similar characteristics.  Since I always enjoyed physics, the title alone was enough to make me want to invest seven and a half minutes watching:

There is a contradiction here that bothered me.  Dan talks about the “acceleration force” of brands, and the bigger the brand, the more force required to change its direction.  Later, he talks about how one event, such as BP’s oil rig disaster, can destroy a brand.  I agree with the first concept, but while I am not a marketing director at Google, I disagree with the second.

You should do everything possible to prevent events which hurt your brand, but if you want your business to move forward, you will never be able to eliminate all risk.  As a large tech and data company, Google knows that too much focus on risk mitigation can itself be a risk, and they have had their fair branding mistakes.  How a company responds to a negative event is what really matters, and I think Dan’s emphasis on protecting the brand is meant to convey that message.

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