Brand Apple! Or is it Brand Jobs?

In consumer digital products there is no other brand name that comes close to matching the iconic status of Apple. From the iMac to the iPad – the iPhone to the iPod Touch – Apple has built a Tech Empire that seems untouchable. Plus their Software platforms of OS X, iOS, iTunes and the App Store are even a match for a combined Windows/Android fantasy mash-up.

If you look deep inside the DNA of each of those powerhouse brands, you will see the heart and soul of one man driving each product on – Mr Steve Jobs.  In the same way that Walt Disney is synonymous with the Disney brand and everything it stands for, Steve Jobs is the living embodiment of the Apple brand.

The keynote events which Steve Jobs overlords every few months are treated like rock star events across all forms of media. There is no other global brand leader that can make you believe and buy into the brand which Jobs is selling. But this ain’t brand Apple that’s being marketed, this is Brand Jobs!

Over this coming decade Apple will eventually have to face its greatest challenge in trying to find a new head that can come even close to matching the legendary status of Steve Jobs, no matter how many other cool new Apple products they release. For this they need to find a type of person who has links with Jobs and the magic of Disney and is currently chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studio’s – Mr John Lasseter.

Like Jobs at Apple, John Lasseter is the chief creative force at Pixar, where his attention to detail and master of his craft helped forged a series of animated movies which are on par with anything which the late great Walt Disney made in the past. Luckily for Disney Lasseter came through their ranks before joining Pixar, but will Apple be lucky to find a new apprentice that can carry the mantle and legacy of the great Steve Jobs.

Of course Apple will eventually lose their great Lennon/McCartney partnership of Jobs/ Ive. But in the mean time they need to find a successor to Steve Jobs, someone that lives and breathes Apple and has ideas and passions of his own to take the company onto even more greater heights. Plus most importantly of all, he needs to be able to deliver Rock Star Keynote performances that can match the power of Brand Jobs!

Brand Google! Search Me?

For most people today, the word search is synonymous with the word Google. Meaning if you asked anyone today, what is Google, the answer would nearly always be – ”a search engine”.

Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO states that Google is a ”Search, Ads and Apps” company. But what he fails to mention within those simple three words,  is that Google is also home to over 120 Google products and services. Some like Google Maps, Gmail, Google News and You Tube are huge Google brands. But many other Google brands like Google Grants, Google Feedburner & Google Fast Flip are simply lost deep inside the Google department store.

Location based services which is currently the next big thing in Social Media, is also an area which Google is struggling to create a simple stand alone brand. Sites like Foursquare, Gowalla & Loopt, are the big new brands of Location based services, but for Google their Location based portfolio is all over the place. There is Google Maps, Google Places, Google Latitude, Google Transit & Google Buzz? Which Google location brand should a user go to first?

Google seriously needs to look towards their great competitor Microsoft and learn how they turned a whole suite of inter-related products, such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint & Outlook, into the biggest PC Software brand of all time – Microsoft Office.  Google would be better served today if they took the Microsoft Office brand approach and placed a whole roster of key inter-related products into key Google brands.

For example all search related products like Google Scholar, Images, News, Video, etc should all be tied into the’ Google Search’ brand. The Google Apps for Businesses brand should be changed to’ Google Office’, with productivity brands like Google Picnik & Google 3D Warehouse also integrated inside.

A new ‘Google Social’ brand should also be introduced featuring key brands like You Tube, Blogger, Orkut, Google Buzz and the forthcoming Google Me service. Plus of course Google should set up a simple ‘Google Local’ brand which would incorporate Google Maps, Google Places, Google Transit & Google Latitude.

Google would be better served by developing a number of key Google brands, which would not only be featured at the top of their main homepage, but can also be the special Brand homes, for new products and services that are released. If Google wants to create another ‘cash cow’ like Google Search, then they should try and launch new and more better focused ‘Google Brands’.

Brand Google! Less is more!