Forget the iWatch. In the much-anticipated unveiling of Apple’s latest and greatest products and offerings, another more subtle but no less significant game-changer was revealed: the brand’s new—or at least evolving—naming convention.
Previously the owner of all things “i,” Apple today moved the needle towards its masterbrand by announcing the new Pay mobile payments platform and Watch smartwatch. While still keeping “i” as part of its iPhone line, with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus revealed today, Apple’s naming evolution is interesting on a number of levels.[more]
First, opting for the icon word combo is a move that both draws and invests in the logo’s equity. It also fits the brand’s design aesthetic of simplicity, and is profoundly easy to understand.
More significantly, however, this new naming approach takes a step away from the “i” (or “me”) at the center and puts Apple the brand in its place.
A definitive move, this feels like Apple firmly stepping into the ring with other platform leaders like Google that also employ brand-first naming—not that they weren’t in competition before, only that now it feels like an acknowledged battle of the big brands on Apple’s part, whereas before Tim Cook and Co. chose to ignore competitors and go their own way.
Interestingly, as a longstanding and much-loved brand, Apple can afford to be less explicit about its people-centered approach, as customers already trust that the company will be designing with their best interests and experiences in mind.
Indeed, with its Apple Pay platform designed to make paying unbelievably easy and reassuringly secure, and with the Apple Watch offering an awe-inspiring range or personalizable options, it’s clear that “i” or no “i,” “you” are still at the center of Apple’s expanding universe.
—Claire Falloon is an Associate Director in Verbal Identity, and is a Mac, not a PC.