In today’s article, we are going to take inspiration from Google, one of the most viral brands of all-time, and I’m going to give you the Top Four Ways to Brand Viral, so you can Come Out of Nowhere and become an Inspiration to Millions. Let’s dive right in!
1. Save Them Time, Money, and Energy
2. Show Them The Way to a Greater Future
3. Share Their Deepest Concerns
4. Surprise and Delight Them
Google started out in 1996 as a school project for two Stanford PhD students who wanted to create an easier way to access data; a universal digital library. At first Larry Page and Sergey Brin named their little research project “Backrub,” because of the way the technology used backlinks to analyze data. Backrub was initially developed to run exclusively on Stanford’s servers, but as their invention continued to work to compile more and more information, growing to some 75 million pages in just 5 months, Stanford’s servers soon ran out of bandwidth. Backrub changed servers three times, and then in 1998, the students decided to publically launch their search engine and decided to change the name.
During a late-night brainstorming session, Brin suggests “googolplex,” which is the name for the number one followed by 100 zeros. It is one of the last largest numbers to have a name, and it is meant to represent the vast quantity of information their little invention was rapidly amassing. Page and Brin both loved the name, shortened it to Google.com, and purchased the domain that very night. Just eight years later the phrase “Google it,” has replaced all other variations of “doing an internet search,” googling is officially recognized by Merriam-Webster, and every initial investor, including a couple of professors at Stanford, are well on their way to becoming multi-billionaires.
Of their success Page says, “When Sergey and I founded Google, we hoped but did not expect it would reach its current size and influence. Our intense and enduring interest was to objectively help people find information efficiently.”
Move over Yahoo, bye-bye Bing, sorry Jeeves…Google has outperformed you all, and today Google is one of the most innovative and beloved brands in the history of mankind.
You have an innovative idea that will make people’s lives better, and right now there are millions of people who need your brand. Inspiration to Millions and the creator of Pinterest, Ben Silbermann once said, “If Google teaches us anything, it’s that those small ideas can be big.” So let’s start thinking big right now about the future of your brand, and using Google as our inspiration, let’s dive right into The Top Four Ways to Brand Viral!
Number One: Save Them Time, Money, and Energy
Time, Money, and Energy are the top three limiting beliefs that people face when deciding whether or not to join your brand. I call them the obstacles to buy, and they sound something like this, “Will I even have enough time to use this product or service?” “I can’t really afford this. Is it too expensive? Will I get my money’s worth? I’m too busy with other things right now, and what if I’m not good at it? What will other people think? What does owning this product or using this service say about me as a person?” One of the key reasons why Google was able to Come Out of Nowhere and blast all other search engines out of the water is because it is the best at REMOVING these obstacles to buy for their community. Google’s mission “Is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google is literally designed to make themselves the easiest choice a person can make by saving people time, money, and energy. You too can make joining YOUR brand the easiest choice your ideal individuals make all day, by addressing these obstacles head-on. You do this by (VEV) Valuing Every Vulnerability. Think about it, the decision to buy is emotional, so every time someone considers making a new purchase—they are in a vulnerable position. One that causes them to immediately question their ability to get what they need from your brand. Just the experience of having an emotional need, yearning to get those needs met— admitting to that alone, can be very uncomfortable for many people!
Your brand can get out in front of those limiting beliefs and stop them in their tracks by letting your ideal individuals know upfront, not only how your brand will save them time, money, and energy, but also through Valuing Every Vulnerability by finding creative ways to let them know they aren’t alone in having those needs in the first place. You are essentially creating a community of people who at one time had the same emotional needs that were unmet, but who are now living into a greater future because they said “Yes’” to your brand.
Number 2: Show Them the Way to a Greater Future
Google’s greater purpose is to inspire and support human innovations that make human lives easier. Google is also rated as one of the top 50 best places to work. The team members of Google are encouraged to spend at least 20% of their workday researching and developing ideas about which they are personally passionate. Just as Google wants its team to be constantly exploring their ideas for making people’s lives better, Google itself is constantly searching for ways to make their employees’ lives better. It’s called walking the talk, and it’s vital to infusing your company culture with a higher purpose.
Within your brand, it will be your example that reveals what goodness now can be possible with the help of your brand, and it will be the stories your brand creates around what life was like before and after your brand that will inspire your ideal individuals to embark on their own personal journeys. Your ideal individuals are the heroes in these stories, and your brand is the wise sage or the beholder of the magical talisman that guides them to victory because you walked the path before them and returned with your product or service as a better and easier way to help them dance across the finish line.
Number 3: Share Their Deepest Concerns
What are your ideal individuals the most passionate about? Is it family? Infuse your culture with a deep respect for creating time and memories with loved ones. Is it animals? Get your brand involved with organizations that are contributing to animal welfare. Is it the environment? Strive to reduce your carbon footprint and be dedicated to operating in a sustainable and eco-friendly way. Is it progress? Then let them know you are working tirelessly to keep growing right alongside them. Google services the entire world, and so it never shies away from taking a stance or shining a light on what is good for creating a better world for future generations. A lot of brands may shirk at the social responsibility of taking a powerful stance, out of fear that they limit their reach in certain demographics. Don’t choose inaction out of fear, when your brand could be dynamic in love. We are all human beings who live on this planet, and if that’s not common ground I don’t know what is. Brands with clearly defined values and ethics have stronger character, and it gives us something to trust about your brand. Something consistent that we can identify with personally. Google has an internal motto for their culture to abide by, and it’s simply this, “Don’t be evil, just do the right thing.” It’s so simple it’s almost shocking, and yet for a brand worth billions of dollars, it seems almost a revolutionary act. And if Google can continue to keep that promise, how many different demographics of people are going to proudly continue to be a member of the Google brand community? It’s a mission rooted in love that the whole world can get behind.
And finally, Number 4: Surprise and Delight Them
Just saying the word Google is a delight of sorts, right? It’s a fun word to say! Google google google! It’s silly, and whimsical, and feels sorta bubbly in your mouth. How many times have you checked out the changing arrangement of the Google logo on their homepage, and just had to smile? Google holds regular contests for children across the country to reimagine and draw new versions of their logo, and the results are often wonderful. Did you know that Google assistant has a Santa Claus tracker? Did you know that if you type Chuck Norris in the google search bar and click the “I’m feeling lucky,” button it will take you to a site that says “Google won’t search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don’t find Chuck Norris, Chuck Norris finds you?” Try Googling the Wizard of Oz, and then click on the ruby red slippers, and just see what happens…Google is a veritable treasure trove of small delights and silly surprises, and your brand can be too! Your ideal individuals want to feel good, and they want to feel good about themselves for choosing your brand. Human beings in general are not apt to remember everything they see or hear, but we are adeptly attuned to remembering how something or someone made us feel. In a world so saturated in information, be the breath of fresh air, be the ray of hope, be the unexpected surprise that turns their day around. Bring them goodness that they can’t wait to share with others. Word of mouth advertising is 50x more effective than any other form of marketing. That’s how a brand Comes Out of Nowhere and becomes an Inspiration to Millions.
Taking the lead from Google, one of the most inspiring brands of all-time, go through each of the Top Four Ways to Brand Viral and brainstorm on how your brand can elevate the ways you 1. Save Them Time, Money, and Energy 2. Show Them the Way to a Greater Future 3. Share Their Deepest Concerns, and 4. Surprise and Delight Them. Remember as you go through each one, to Value Every Vulnerability, and if you’d like me to make an episode that does a deep-dive on the concept of Valuing Every Vulnerability, addressing limiting beliefs and eliminating their obstacles to buy, let me know in the comments using #VEV, and I’ll put it together for you!
Thank you so much for joining me! Treat these articles as a masterclass for becoming an Inspiration to Millions with Branding. And as always the way to becoming an Inspiration to Millions starts with our motto: Love What You Do and Love How You Do It.