About Brand Perception


Today I saw this little tidbit

and let me add those images here (in case of deleted tweet later)


I don’t know who did hat but apparently it can be interpreted as an answer to the recent mess Google got into.

Here the story, it started with this

Google Employee’s Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes ‘Internally Viral’

At least eight Google employees tweeted Friday about a document that was circulated within the company calling for replacing Google’s diversity initiatives with policies that encourage “ideological diversity” instead. The document, which is the personal opinion of one senior software engineer, was shared on a company mailing list but has since gone “internally viral,” according to a Google employee who spoke with Motherboard.

and then later

Exclusive: Here’s The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google

followed by other articles like

A Googler’s Would-Be Manifesto Reveals Tech’s Rotten Core

An anonymous Google software engineer’s 10-page fulmination against workplace diversity was leaked from internal company communications systems, including an internal version of Google+, the company’s social network, and another service that Gizmodo, which published the full memo, called an “internal meme network.”

“I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes,” the Googler writes, “and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.”

The memo has drawn rage and dismay since its appearance Saturday, when it was first reported by Motherboard.

and finally

Google Fires Employee Behind Controversial Diversity Memo

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has fired an employee who wrote an internal memo blasting the web company’s diversity policies, creating a firestorm across Silicon Valley.

James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” He said he’s “currently exploring all possible legal remedies.”

So those “advertising” in Venice Beach, Los Angeles where it says “Goolag”
followed by “Search for diversity of thought somewhere else”
and a button “I’m Feeling Fucked”

Yep, that is in reaction about this guy James Damore being fired by Google.

In short, many people support JD and even more are sympathetic to his concerns after he got fired

see for example
Internal Messages Show Some Googlers Supported Fired Engineer’s Manifesto

That’s the same and classic debate around freedom of speech:
to defend freedom of speech would you let people you extremely disagree with (like neo-nazi)
also express their own speech ?

What about if their speech offend other people ?
What about if their speech harm other people ?

So yeah freedom is no absolute and you can have a freedom of speech as long as it does not harm others, and to other extend, as long as it does not offend others (see here more details about the “offense principle”).

And what you find exacerbated on the Internet nowadays is quite well illustrated by this quote from 3.1 Joel Feinberg’s Offense Principle

Such a principle is hard to apply because many people take offense as the result of an overly sensitive disposition, or worse, because of bigotry and unjustified prejudice. A further difficulty is that some people can be deeply offended by statements that others find mildly amusing.

There are some kind of people, let’s call them trolls, that focus on the “offense” by posing themselves as the offended victim.

Which led to such meme as

When you read “Search for diversity of thought somewhere else” under “Goulag” that is what it is about.

They basically claim that because Google supports “diversity of thought” then they should also support the thoughts of JD and not have fired him to simply have expressed his thoughts.

I would tend to agree with that, if you support diversity of thought then you do support all diversity of thought, even the one you dislike.

But what those people conveniently forgot is that James Damore’s thoughts were not only offensive (whatever your degree of sensibility), those thoughts were also harmful to women, and that’s where everyone should say “not acceptable and we will not accept it, period”.

Freedom of expression does not give you the right to say any stupid shit that harm others.

But let’s go back to the main point: brand perception.

For as long as I have seen Google recruiting I have seen this from them: “we only hire the smartest of people”
or if you ask around you will get answer like “oh yeah at Google you are only surrounded by smart people”
or simply look at their recruiting videos

and here a little example “Marissa Mayer: Work with Smart People”

I’m not saying that there are dumb people at Google but I do say when your workforce is around the 10000+ employees, they can not all be smart, there must be some assholes there.

And that JD manifesto kind of illustrate that, the guy went thorough all those google interview (at least 4 or 5 of them) and got hired to then later publish this kind of damaging document.

And here how things follow up
Google recruiters are getting an earful about that sexist ‘manifesto’

Google is still dealing with the fallout from the sexist, anti-diversity “manifesto” authored by an unidentified engineer at the company.

Now, it looks like the backlash caused by the memo is starting to hurt the company’s chances with prospective employees. People have started to take to Twitter to share responses to Google recruiters in light of the scandal.

“I’m reluctant to take this conversation further,” wrote engineer James Abley, citing both the memo and the pending lawsuit against Google for pay discrimination. “These things do not give me a good impression of Google’s culture.”

Another prospective recruit, Sam Stephenson, shared his response to a Google recruiter in which he criticized the company for its “disappointing” response to the memo. "It is not the response of a company that cares about fostering an inclusive work environment, and that’s a non-negotiable dealbreaker for me.

And that my friends is brand perception, or how to go from “oh oh oh we hire only smart people” to
“our employee culture is not that diversified and people noticed it”.

In fact, JD, with his manifesto, single-handedly destroyed many years of communications
saying “we’re hiring only smart people”

because now people perceive “hey google you’re also hiring sexist douchebag!!”
and worst, that JD guy is probably not the only one

which also gives that other kind of article
Google’s Brand Hurt by Sexist Memo, But Ad Revenue Isn’t?

That means the public may be less tolerant of gender discrimination, in general, and brands may want to note these audience attitudes for future marketing efforts.

The whole concept that Google try to show when they say “we hire only smart people”
is that basically they are so big and so full of smart people that you can not compete with them,
the thing is … “too big to fail” does not exists.

In a way Google themselves are responsible for JD output, think of it like that:
JD probably busted his ass off to get hired at Google, and then he made it, he got hired,
and after that he was surrounded by all those googlers thinking hard as hell they are all the smartest
in the industry, well… off course JD and others would end up with a superiority complex.

Some thinking in the line of: “Google is superior to other company, I’m a male working at Google, I must be superior to other people … especially women” … it seems batshit crazy but I’m pretty sure the thought of process went like that.

Anyway… now people compare Google to Goulag, and even if it is for the wrong reasons, I find it funny.

I find it reassuring and equalitarian that, from time to time, big company actually do fail.


The best way to perform such marketing or black marketing campaign is social media. People spend way much more time looking at their black-mirror screen than on actual world. And it’s way more effective to spread the idea there. And given some smart tools like https://zen-promo.com/like_bot_instagram. We hit corporate giants with their weapon of advanced attention-manipulation.