Google has never advertised on TV, and actually don't do any brand marketing at all. David Lawee, the Google VP of marketing figures he has the easiest job in marketing because all of his decisions revolve around answering one simple question: what's best for the user?
(This reminds me of one of the chapters in the Made to Stick book, on the Southwest Airlines philosophy, in which every decision the company makes hinges on whether it will enable the company to remain the cheapest airline in the business. Everything begins with whether decisions ensure that Southwest is “THE low-fare airline.”).
via Business Week:
How does Google think about its brand? The honest answer is that the first thing we think about is our products. First and foremost, we're always thinking about what's best for the user. We have a true north that's always easy to touch back to.
I see this in meeting after meeting. There may be various constituents trying to decide what's the best thing to do, and we say, well, what's the best thing for the user? And the decision gets made pretty quickly. Having that consistency makes it very easy for someone like me who's kind of the brand steward. I'm not policing as much as I might if we didn't have those values.
It's a good interview, touching on a lot of themes that are always kicked around the plannersphere corridors: a lot of little ideas vs. a big advertising idea, surrendering a degree of control to consumers (they let little kids mess with the logo) and the importance of constant iteration in the process of innovation.