5 things small business marketers can learn from the Google Doodle

How great would it be if something you did in your business every day of the year often created a trending hashtag?

After all, trending hashtags tend to spring from unusual, extraordinary, or rare events. However, I was just checking the trends and saw that #googledoodle was among the top trending hashtags this afternoon.

The Google Doodle is the way Google playfully, artistically, and sometimes meaningfully redesigns its logo at the top of its search page. While not all Google Doodles become big hits, the search Goliath often comes up with creative plays on its logo that catch the public’s imagination.

While we all can’t achieve this kind of notoriety with something as simple and basic to business as our logo, there are some insightful lessons to be gleaned from the Google Doodle experience.

  1. Be known for something. Millions of Internet users know that Google often does creative things with its logo. When they go to the Google search page, they will click on it to see if any magic happens. What is your business known for? Do customers easily experience it? If you can’t name it, go back to the drawing board.
  2. It’s okay to break the rules. Nothing less than North Korea’s Kim Jong-un aiming one of his shiny new missiles at Coke’s global headquarters could get the soda brand to change its logo, yet Google changes its logo on its most-visited page virtually every day.
  3. Make people smile. Many of the Google Doodles are humorous. Not only is laughter the best medicine, it’s a fantastic drawing card. Back when almost every household received a daily newspaper, a great many subscribers would turn to the comics, read their favorites, and not read anything else in the paper. I know people who skim every issue of The New Yorker just to read the cartoons.
  4. Honor important people and events. At the core of business is the ability to relate to people. Saying to someone, “What’s important to you, is important to me,” is a great way to establish that relationship. Changing the look of your website or physical location to reflect seasons and important days is something you should do. Instead of just having a Christmas Sale, explain why Christmas is important to you in your marketing materials.
  5. Stay fresh. Nothing kills more relationships than boredom. Freshen up your website and your physical location often. “Newness” can be an inexpensive attribute to develop and it can pay huge dividends. Grocery stores constantly rearrange their shelves so shoppers will “discover” new items. That strategy applies in many settings.

The Google Doodle is a small thing – literally – but it has become a big part of Google’s brand image. Think of all the small things in your company that you can leverage to make a big impact on your brand.