As you might know by now, Google recently changed their favicon (the small, square image that appears in the browser, next to the url).

It’s a small image, just 16×16. But the change did cause a bit of a stir online, with a lot of blogs running the story and a couple of forum threads being started. It’s even spurred questions about whether Google was going to undergo a rebranding process.

I’m not going to speculate about any of this, but what I do want to point out is this. Even such a small scale change caused such a stir. Why? Yes, part of the reason is because of the size of Google. But I think it’s also because Google’s brand had been associated with the old icon (the capital ‘G’). People were used to that. And when it changed, people noticed – some praised and supported it, others criticized it.

Once you’re associated with something – a word, an image, an icon, even an attribute – no matter how small that “something” is, people will notice when you change it. It’s up to you to ensure that the change is met well.