By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai– As the threat looms of Gen Next terming existing brands as their “parents’ brand” and seeking newer alternatives, older brands are increasingly seeking to reinforce and reinvent themselves in the digital space to remain alive, a senior official of Google Inc said.

“With eight Google products having around one billion users per month, we help companies build their brands in the digital space,” Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist, Brand Marketing, told IANS here.

Kallayil said his job does not involve building/promoting Google or its other products, but helping other companies build their brands in the digital space using his company’s products.

The yoga guru at Google and the author of “The Internet to the Inner-neta”, Kallayil would easily pass as a movie industry personality with his jazzy shoes, designer socks, bright red pants, black shirt and black coat, and few would believe he is a corporate executive — and that too someone originally from Kerala.

“India is a land of colours. So I decided to wear clothes that are bright coloured. Also, working in Google one need not be very formally dressed,” said Kallayil, who was here to speak at a seminar on “Reaching Out to the Mobile Indian” organised by the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta Alumni Association, Chennai chapter.

Speaking on the trends in advertising on the internet, Kallayil said there will be more video advertisements in future, but said they would not be intrusive and cited You Tube spots that give the option to skip the ad in four seconds. It should also be noted that most TV commercials are for five seconds.

“The major trend is the increase in mobile phones, online videos and the use of artificial intelligence,” he said.

According to Kallayil, by studying what is being searched online and what is trending, one can provide corporates with data that would help them come out with appropriate products and citied how a cosmetics company came out with its product for ombre hair colouring.

Kallayil sees huge potential in India as the country’s internet population is soon expected to overtake that of the US.

He said the company is developing a product for the Indian market that is simple but declined to reveal details.

According to him, the digital space or the internet is a great leveller as it offers even a small company in an Indian village an opportunity to market its product globally.

“Small Indian companies can not only market their products to the Indian diaspora overseas but also to an entirely new market segment if targeted properly. That is where we come in,” Kallayil said.

“The cost could be even be as low as zero,” he added.

He said on digital space advertisements can not only be targeted but also appropriately timed whereas this is not the case for television or other media.

On what drives innovation at Google, he said nine core principles are distilled from the experiences gained over the last 18 years.

He said the first principle is that innovation comes from anywhere and Google does not have a Chief Innovation Officer like some companies.

The freedom given to employees does wonders. If an idea is backed up by convincing data then the green signal is given, he said. Focusing on the user is an obsession at Google, he added.

The other principles are Think 10X (making a product 10 times better); Radical solution bordering lunacy; Betting on technical insights; Launch and iterate; 20 per cent time (Employees are free to use 20 per cent of their working time to think about innovative ideas); Having a mission that matters; Fail well and Default to open (open to collaborate with others). (IANS)