Sometimes, the best way to learn things is to explore the opposite. There is no better example than Google, in recent times, to explain exactly how one should not do branding.
Google’s Branding Strategy
Google launches a brand new email service. It’s called Gmail. It’s simple. There’s a chat function in. It’s called GChat. Years later this naming convention is all but abandoned.
Android Store becomes Google Play Store. When they launch their Spotify competitor, it’s called Google Play Music. The premium version is called Google Play Music All Access.
Google launches Youtube Red, somehow blind to all potential comparisons to RedTube. Then decides to up the ante by launching Google OnHub, a residential wireless router. Then, realises its mistake with Youtube Red and splits it into Youtube Music and Youtube Premium (compared to a Prime Music and Prime Video)
“Android Messages” gets renamed to “Messages… by Google” while Allo and Duo get no Google or Android branding. GChat gets rebranded to Hangouts, which gets rebranded to Hangouts Meets which gets rebranded to Google Meet. Android TV gets rebranded to Google TV which is what it used to be called years ago. Android Wear is now called WearOS.
Google Play Books is the Amazon Kindle Store competitor. Google Books is the search engine for books. Google One is their consumer cloud storage subscription service. Android One is an OEM program for a standardized OS.
Google launches a phone-line. It’s called Nexus, before it is rebranded to Pixel. So, now Pixel phones run Android. But a Pixel Slate runs ChromeOS.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg for Google’s forays in branding and re-branding (Alphabet vs Google, Tez vs Android Pay vs Google Pay, etc.).
Contrast this scatterbrained branding strategy against Apple’s.
They have had a consistent naming scheme for their products – iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes until they decided to shift to the “Apple” brand with Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Card.
The iOS works on iPhones, macOS works on Macs, tvOS on Apple TV, watchOS on Apple Watches. It’s simple. It’s consistent. That’s what a branding strategy should look like – simple and consistent.