It's the Apple Watch, not the iWatch

Why It’s Not Called the iWatch

In Branding Evaluation by DistilityLeave a Comment

In early September, Apple held its annual iPhone event. Since then, new product demos and ads for the iPhone 6s, iPad Pro and Apple Pencil have been widely circulated. Naturally, many editorials followed about this year’s goodies and their features. But we’d like to look at something else. Something more significant for Apple than its rose gold iPhone 6s finish.

Slowly, the ‘i’ Is Being Killed

It’s like seeing a ghost. The new iPhone sits beside the Apple Pencil, mere months after the launch of Apple Music and Apple Watch. Why are these new products not the iPencil and iWatch? What is happening to the cutesy, dotted character that has been so suggestive of thinking different?

Apple Is Hungry for Masterbrand Naming

Put simply, the ‘i’ means less to people than ‘Apple.’ As a name, Apple has become synonymous with great design and innovation. It has accumulated enormous brand equity, and it doesn’t need help from another prefix. That’s why new products like Apple Watch use descriptive names, so the Apple corporate trademark can stand alone. It’s a subtle but telling motion towards a clearcut masterbrand architecture, where the only brand is the corporate one, and all offers are extensions of its promise to give us a magical technological experience.

Moving Away From a Hybrid Brand Architecture

Even two years ago, the Apple brand architecture was more of a hybrid, combining masterbrand and sub-brand conventions. It had one streamlined look for everything, a classic masterbrand approach, but not without unique, stylized names for each product (iPod, iPad, MacBook), something you would see in a sub-brand model. Now this trend has changed. And Apple Watch is just one example. So, when can we expect Apple Phone 1?

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