June 4, 2006
Brand Architecture: The Mac is Back
It appears as though Apple is moving towards a revised Mac-orientated masterbrand (also spelled master brand) architecture with its new brand names starting with “Mac.” I agree with this new nomenclature.
- The PowerBook G4 laptop now sports the MacBook Pro brand name.
- The iBook G4 laptop is morphed into the MacBook brand.
Now it is rumored that the PowerMac desktop brand name will evolve into MacPro.
Xserve may adopt the MacServe brand name as well, and iMac may be given a “pure” Mac product name as well.
I think these brand architecture name changes make sense because the Mac brand has immeasurable equity, has a very strong emotional bond with consumers and it's a legend in the product naming Hall of Fame.
I realize some Mac lovers think the new masterbrand strategy is confusing. That's to be expected, but we (I am a Mac lover), should realize that this is “poetry in motion.” Once the full Mac nomenclature is implemented on all the new Intel-based Macs, the Mac faithful and consumers in general will accept the brand name changes.
I also agree that the iMac simply has a dated brand name. Apple has almost an obligation to build its brand around the Mac name which is almost three decades old — and anyway, any name with a lower case “i” at the beginning it is simply “too nineties,” iPods, iTunes, iLife etc. notwithstanding.
This raises an interesting brand architecture question. Should Apple drop the “i” from its iPod name? What should Apple replace the i in iPod with?
For more news on Apple, here are some blogs I recommend:
- The Unofficial Apple Weblog
- Mac Rumors
- The mini Blog
- Tech Pedia theorizes that Apple is dropping the “Power” names because they are replacing IBM's PowerPC architecture.
Here are some perspectives on Apple from some of our favorite marketing gurus:
- Guy Kawasaki, who used to work for Apple, writes about how he joined the company and offers a review of the autobiography of Apple's co-founder, iWoz.
- Seth Godin writes about a personal experience with Apple's customer support people last year: Part 1 and Part 2.
- Steve Rubel offers an open letter to MS: Dear Microsoft, I am Dumping You
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