Apple: least creative company name ever?

December 21st, 2007

It's no secret that finding a good name for a company is no easy task. We're not exactly blown away by Microsoft, IBM, Compaq. They have no imagination.

There are some names that aren't too bad. Names that aren't too clear about what they mean can be decent, because they sorta make you wonder. Adobe sounds kind of exotic and interesting. Amazon has just the right amount of familiarity and positive association. FedEx is extremely obvious, but somehow snappy all the same, it has just the right amount of consonants. In contrast, UPS is worthless. Intel is also pretty good, you don't know where it comes from, but it's a positive sounding word. Oracle is a name with potential, but the company profile is just so overwhelmingly boring enterprise that they could just as well be called BigYawn. One of the best names is Nero. It has an interesting historical association, plus it's relevant to the function of the software.

The Web2.0 names are all pretty dumb. They don't have that boring cubicle feel, instead they sound like cartoon strips. And most of them mean nothing, but in such a way that you know they mean nothing, there's nothing to figure out. Which makes it dull. Like Google. Even if that meant something, would anyone care? No.

But if there's one company that never gave it more than 2 minutes of thought, it's the World Marketing Champion, Apple.

Apple — For the favourite fruit of co-founder Steve Jobs and/or for the time he worked at an apple orchard, and to distance itself from the cold, unapproachable, complicated imagery created by other computer companies at the time — which had names such as IBM, DEC, Cincom and Tesseract

What a useless name that is. It's dumb at face value, and it's not a pun that would keep your brain busy for 3 seconds. It's just an apple. Even Nail would have been a better name, cause then you don't know if it's the body part or the construction tool.

For a company whose primary concern is image you would think they'd decide to change it at some point. Or can't they come up with anything? Then again they're not exactly known to break the bank for product names either. Apple Computer, Macintosh, Mac, eMac, iMac, MacPro, PowerBook (wow, everyone, a new adjective), MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iPod (the most creative one so far). Then there is the software line where again they have spared no expense. iChat, iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, iDVD, iLife. Yes, all products for creative people, you can really feel the ideas percolating.

And the latest? The iPhone. Boy, that must have been tough to invent.

:: random entries in this category ::

11 Responses to "Apple: least creative company name ever?"

  1. erik says:

    I actually don't mind the i-series. iPod, iWeb etc. That notion of individuality, "I" as in "me", is not bad at all. It's subtle, recognisable and fitting of the products.

    But "Apple"... that's... not good :D

    It's not unlike "Shell". They should do a survey somewhere in the third world and see how many people would associate the company name with an oil production company. I bet you ain't many. That's actually also why I don't appreciate "Nero", it doesn't bear any relevance to the company/product. Or "Ajax", who comes up with this nonsense.

  2. numerodix says:

    > That’s actually also why I don’t appreciate “Nero”, it doesn’t bear any relevance to the company/product.

    Well Nero was the mad ceasar who burned down Rome. And "Nero Burning ROM", okay it isn't brilliant, but it's close enough I think.

  3. erik says:

    That's awful :D

  4. derrick says:

    sorry to say in the first place... big linux fan... not gunna touch fedora lol

    but on to the point... how is the software for indivuduality when its mass produced... food for the brainwashed mind....

  5. mudkipz says:

    You think the word "google" has no meaning?

    You may want to do a little research before you write some inane shit on the web.

    Also, this from a "writer" on Brilliant!

  6. Suha says:

    Suggest me a name for a firm which has services like HR Services and Archtecting.

  7. Steven says:

    What's wrong with the Apple ? It sounds so cool !

  8. Frank says:

    Wow, I hope nobody every pays you for your opinion on these things. If Apple changed their name at this point it would cost millions of dollars, and lose them many more millions in lost brand recognition. You completely fail to understand what image IS... Image is the fact that if somebody talks about Dells or HPs or Compaqs people think "generic PC". When somebody says Apple we know what it is, we know the brand, a handful of products, we know the look. We are even at the point where people look at other items and describe them as "looking like an Apple product"...

    Me, I use PC's. I absolutely hate macs and dislike Apple for the entire cult status they have... but to deny that they have one of the best brands out there is laughable.

    No, all in all, this post is FAIL

  9. I have to agree with comments above, large amounts of fail in this post. Google does have subtle meaning and a play on mathematics: google Googol.

    Amazon? What relevance does a female warrior culture or river have to do with books? Not a terrible name but kind of goofy.

    IBM[=International Business Machines], Apple, UPS[=United Parcel Service), FedEx[=Federal Express, all excellent names in my book, and even better branding and recognition. Also, lot of common (and good) company names derive from surnames or locations. Not particularly creative, but unless a name is really bad it usually doesn't matter much.

    The only valid point you make is that Apple product names are terrible. They sound like cheap Asian knock-off products. Luckily they have good branding, marketing, design, and [sometimes] engineering to back it up.

  10. Andrew says:

    I've always figured that Google was a reference to the word "googol" which is 10 to the 100th power. It makes sense if you think about it. They're saying that they give you lots of results.

  11. nomex says:

    I think apple - it's just a name, because they do good in designs but their hardware works not in a good way, many bugs etc