The Modern Brand: Transparent Branding

The Modern Brand: Transparent Branding

To say that Google+ is simply a social media platform would not only undersell its value, but it would be a lie. Brands do not simply advertise. Google+ offers business owners, writers, artists, musicians – anyone with motivation and a willingness to engage – the opportunity to form personal and business connections with people all over the world. People who can serve as mentor, co-worker, customer, friend, or interesting acquaintance.

At SEOWiSE we wanted to discover the brands that are using the Google+ platform the right way and to their full advantage. Brands accomplish this through transparent branding: putting the individuals of the brand in the forefront, letting them speak for the brand, personalizing the brand, building a trust that only human relationships have yet accomplished.

Wondering about our criteria?

One does not simply post a status update in Google+. See why.As advice rolls in from all of you and new metrics are shared by ++CircleCount and +10257232006113844209 our criteria is changing, but for this round our criteria consisted of Brands that:

  • Were actively engaged within their Google+ pages, including regular posting and responding to comments
  • Provided helpful videos or advice to their followers
  • Had become something much more than a trademarked logo.

As these brands grow and thrive on Google+ they snatch the idea of a ghost town up, crumple it, and toss it in the waste basket.

We used these metrics because our main concern is the humanization of the brand and the only way we could think to measure this was through engagement. The brands we focused on are ones who put a lot of effort into engaging with their followers and the Google+ world in general as an individual would, taking the first step in creating brand trust. And they do this using some of the free tools that Google+ provides: Hangouts on Air, resharing posts, and Authorship attribution.

Why Highlight these brands?

As these brands grow and thrive on Google+ they snatch the idea of a ghost town up, crumple it, and toss it in the waste basket. Brands have always had the upper hand in one aspect: they are easily recognizable. An infographic recently released by CircleCount shows this beautifully (with numbers we only dreamed of). Though Pages within Google+ had more followers and put out more posts, they tended to have less engagement, and two speculations as to why were offered: 1.People have a harder time trusting brands therefore they don’t engage with brands, or 2.These brands aren’t encouraging the engagement in sharing the content of others and responding to comments on their own posts. We focused on engagement because it’s the best indication of humanity. People communicate with other people.

While arguably smaller brands like ours and personal brands have an easier task of revealing the humans behind the brand, larger brands have resources that us little guys dream of. Case in point? Google is as transparent as can be and they are a huge company! But in each of their departments they have a personalized voice: Eric Schmidt, Vic Gundotra, Matt Cutts. Each of them is a real person we can identify and potentially chat with. This humanized brand is the ultimate goal because we trust the human. If the brand is willing to put the person before the brand, and the person is willing to stake their reputation on the brand, that’s a brand we trust.

We focused on engagement because it’s the best indication of humanity. People communicate with other people.

Recognition does not necessarily mean engagement and it certainly doesn’t mean true trust. In Google+ we are able to distinguish between the two and the brands who are building true trust, who are doing what Lee calls microbranding and what we like to call transparency, experiencing rich conversation, idea sharing, and international interaction are the ones who are proving those ghost town advocates wrong.
We want to be clear, none of these brands asked to become a part of the magazine. Through Google+ user recommendations and personal research we discovered the brands featured here.

Got what it takes?

Do you think your brand has what it takes? Looking at our list and saying hey, we do that!? At SEOWiSE our search for leading brands on Google+, as of right now, is indefinite! The best news? Your follower count is irrelevant – be involved, get involved! We’re looking for activity, we’re looking for brands with a personal voice that are using all of the unique tools Google+ offers to get the engagement and more importantly, trust that brands need to thrive. Don’t just be a logo, give your business a face, show the man or men behind the curtain.

What’s in it for us?

SEOWiSE wants to support those who are doing an amazing job on Google+! Our goal is to provide recognition for those brands who are making an effort to embrace transparent branding, who embrace the modern brand. And in the process provide examples for other brands on how to humanize their brand, where to start, and show them how much of a difference it will make. So please, share those brands with us and the rest of Google+ that you think have been doing something you think is noteworthy. We’re here to show off your branding skills, but in the vast world of Google+ that grows daily, we need a little help finding you first!


A few of the brands we had wanted to feature didn’t make it into this magazine because we couldn’t find an active blog to pull an article from. These brands are +DIA and +T-Mobile. If you work for one of these brands and we simply missed something please contact us in Google+ so we can feature you as planned!