Life changing brands

Over the weekend, I was discussing with my husband and some friends whether or not the author William Gibson was a prophet, especially as relates to technologies like Google Glass. Where does the influence lie? Is it that these technologies were already nascent and Gibson heard about them? Or is it that clever and inventive people read books like Gibson’s (and others’) and make things happen? Is it the chicken? Or the egg?

Does it really matter? Or is what really matters that these things come into being and change the way we live our lives?  Because they do change our lives.

I started my first job in the information age. I was working in strategic consulting and research, and solid desk research skills were crucial to the delivery against our briefs. This was the information age, but it was pre-Google. A well-developed search strategy was a real skill and not everyone was equally good at it. Google changed all of that.

It’s hard to really remember the pre-Google age because it plays such a crucial role in my life today in ways that I cannot even begin to count. Not only is it part of my lexicon but it is also part of my routine, from first port of call for search to the maps app on my phone to new ideas that stretch the public imagination (including my own).

And more recently, I’ve come into contact with the personal and responsible side of Google, through exposure to Chade-Meng Tan’s Search Inside Yourself. Google’s jolly good fellow seeks to change the world and the way we think, starting with Google and expanding outside of the world. Whether you see it as OTT American or not, seeking world peace? Talk about corporate social responsibility.

So, as Ipsos MORI prepares to present the number one most influential brand in the UK on Wednesday at the Soho Hotel, I have a good idea of what brand influence means in my own life. Google is one of many brands that have shaped how I live my life. It’s done this with not only leading edge technology but through its presence and by creating trust in its results. To me, that is influence.

To learn more about our Influential Brands study, please visit our website:

Tara Beard-Knowland is a Director at Ipsos ASI. Follow Ipsos ASI on Twitter @IpsosASIUK.

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