It's Brand Week at WordStream!
OK, so I just made that up. We haven't been calling it Brand Week, but I just christened it—branded it, if you will—myself. We've been making some improvements to our office space, including the fancy new sign and display in our lobby, as you can see in the video below, with the intention of strengthening our branding for visitors to the office (board members, job candidates, consultants, paparazzi, and so on) as well as our office culture.
(By the way, if you're curious about the display in the video, it's the work of LocaModa , a location-based social media company.)
Coincidentally, I've been seeing a lot of talk about branding this week. Could it be that fall is coming, and everyone wants to turn over a new leaf? (These puns don't even make me laugh, don't worry.) For example, just this morning I was chatting with a friend about eggnog's unfortunate image. "Egg" and "nog" just aren't sexy words. We think it's time for a makeover.
I like where he's going with this, but I'm not sure "holiday milk" is quite exciting enough to catch on with the Kids These Days … how about "rum shake"? Maybe with CamelCase?
Here was another branding tweet that arrived shortly after the above:
Fun question. I have a friend whose signature lipstick color is Target Red .
Anyway, much as I like RumShake and lipstick, let's get back on topic, shall we? Via Marketing Pilgrim: Interbrand has released its 2010 list of the top 100 global brands , based on various criteria like "the financial performance of the branded products or services, the role of brand in the purchase decision process and the strength of the brand to continue to secure earnings for the company." I was a little surprised to see that Google is up three spots from last year, now ranking at #4. It seems to me that Google has lost some territory in the past year, especially in terms of how evil the public perceives them to be, but maybe that's just the impression we get when trapped inside the search marketing bubble.
Interbrand must be spending some time in that bubble too, because it devotes most of its blurb about Google to issues of trust. Google, of course, has been doing a lot of work to change its public image—aside from revamping its basic search function to be more instant , it's been attempting to reframe itself as a portal .
As for other webby brands, Microsoft is one ahead of Google (though of course Bing is not Microsoft's main focus or cash cow). Apple came in at 17.
Also brand-centric and extra nifty: this infographic showing the colors of the top 100 web brands . It seems that social networks gravitate toward cool colors (especially blue), while media companies (CNN, Comcast, cnet, BBC, ESPN) are partial to red. Three brands in the top 10 (Google, eBay, and MSN) use a rainbow of shades in their branding. In fact, blue and red are looking pretty crowded, people. How about some green and pink brands? It's time to take some territory back from Barbie.
If you're interested in branding, allow me to recommend a site that's dedicated to analyzing rebranding efforts: Brand New  (see, it's not just me with the puns). For example, yesterday they picked apart the new logo of the Democratic party . (The verdict, if you're curious: meh.)
I also saw some talk about #NewTwitter  this week, although it hasn't been rolled out to me yet. For a preview, check out Danny Sullivan's "illustrated guide" to the new look  at Search Engine Land. It looks like a big improvement and I'm looking forward to checking out the new design, though, like Chris Brogan , I probably won't switch back to the web version from TweetDeck—I gotta have my columns.
Also in the pipeline is Internet Explorer 9, which you can "test drive" here  and download in beta here . IE8 is my sworn enemy, and I won't even use Firefox at home anymore because it's way too bulky and bloated on my older laptop. But IE9 looks really promising—much more like Chrome, to be honest.
What are you rebranding this fall? Is any aspect of your business or self getting a makeover?
Internet Marketing Highlights This Week
There were even more reactions to Google Instant this week. Andrew Goodman offers The Ultimate Tinfoil Hat Guide to Google Instant , i.e., a list of plausible and not-so-plausible reasons and conspiracy theories for Google's recent launch.
David Iwanow takes a look at some of the ways Google Instant is affecting AdWords behavior .
And Jonathan Allen rebutted Steve Rubel with seven reasons why Instant makes SEO as relevant as ever .
Glen of ViperChill takes a look at how five successful affiliate sites are ranking  for highly profitable and competitive keywords.
PPC Hero's Amy Hoffman has six tips for raising your Quality Score .
Tim Grice of SEO Wizz claims he sees evidence that anchor text is growing less important  and domain strength more important.
Yikes: Apparently using OAuth gives apps access to your DMs .
Have a good weekend, folks.