Business

OK, Glass, here are your branding guidelines

Above: You know you've hit the big time when you're spoofed on Saturday Night Live.

Image Credit: Saturday Night Live/NBC

You know that Google is seriously thinking about the general release of its Glass headgear when it publishes its branding guidelines.

Glass can never be a “part of the name of your business,” the guidelines state. No GlassGear, but you can do Gear for Glass, as long as “for Glass” is smaller than the rest of the logo.

The guidelines also clarify that Glass “is never plural or possessive,” so forget about a pitch to “send timeline cards to all of your users’ Glasses.” This supports the company’s appropriation of a common word by giving it a permanent singular status.

Andrew Frank, the research director for marketing and advertising at industry research firm Gartner, pointed out to VentureBeat that, in addition to using a word that already has a meaning, Google has to be careful to avoid “having your brand declared a generic,” like Xerox. That’s the risk, he noted, of creating a new category of products.

But the guidelines do not yet proscribe the colloquialisms that will emerge, just as my Googling you has become a common phrase. Some have already coined Glassholes to characterize those who wear the headgear without respect for social convention, but there will undoubtedly be a whole cottage industry of Glassisms yet to come.

Glass him when you meet, just to be sure. The Glassification of America. Half-Glassing. I’m not your Glass. Don’t Glass and drive.

Google may be forever grabbing a big chunk of word equity from that transparent thing you use to drink orange juice, but gratefully, it has not taken over our modern ability to debrand any word into appropriate descriptions.

In other words, we still prefer to see Glass, the brand name, as only half-full.

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