When the switch to “Alphabet” was announced, the organization put a lot of units with the “Google” brand outside of Google, the company. Google Capital, Google Fiber, and Google X all use the “Google” brand but aren’t part of the new Google—they’re Alphabet companies. We wondered if the reorganization meant all the non-Google “Google” units would eventually get a rebrand.
We don’t have a definitive answer to the Alphabet companies going Google-free, but things are trending that way. Google Ventures just got a big rebranding in early December with a redesigned “GV” logo and “gv.com” website. Everyone still reads GV as “Google Ventures,” but “GV” is actually the full name now—it’s not an acronym. Google Life Sciences dropped “Google” too—it’s Verily Life Sciences now. While GV alludes to the Google heritage, Verily has completely distanced itself from its founding brand.
Will everyone else follow suit? Alphabet’s branding would be much clearer if only Google was allowed to use “Google.” Such a change would also make Alphabet feel like a sincere separate entity instead of “Google trickery,” which is what it comes across as now. Google X could turn into “X Labs,” which it sometimes gets referred to as, but we’re blanking on rebrands for the other units. “Google [Product]” was always easy, predictable, and available for trademark registration. After “Verily,” all bets for predictability are off.
Gonna be honest, I’d kinda forgotten about the whole “Alphabet” thing until just now. It struck me as more of a ‘restructuring for business reasons’ than anything that I’d actually care about.
Also in the article,1 someone catching the Google On branding mystery:
Google sort-of released a home automation product with the release of the Google OnHub—Google’s Wi-Fi router. Despite being released and on sale for $200, Google’s OnHub is still shrouded in mystery. The bottom of the device says it is “built for Google On,” but Google won’t say what “Google On” is. In addition to Wi-Fi, the OnHub is packing dormant Bluetooth and 802.15.4 radios, but Google won’t say what those are for either.
The URL for the OnHub website is “https://on.google.com/hub/,” and the app is just called “Google On.” To us, this branding suggests the OnHub is the first of many “Google On” products. We think it’s the name for Google’s home automation ecosystem, but the company has never really confirmed that.
- Although, looking at the scale of the thing, ‘novel’ might be more appropriate. Or ‘thesis.’ It’s rather massive. ↩