People Notice Change

Jun 4, 2008

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.