The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Apple and the case of the missing 'i'
Antony Robinson, Director, Global Client Development, Warc
Antony Robinson

I'm a geek and I'm an Apple fanboi. So on Tuesday at 6pm UK time, I was busy refreshing my iPad Mini Safari browser to try and live stream (or at least read a live blog) of Apple's latest announcement from Cupertino.

For the best part of two hours my kids got little out of me as Tim Cook and his staff showed off the new iPhone 6/6 Plus (note to self must buy trousers with larger pockets next season), their new mobile payment system and the much anticipated new smart watch.

The tech is amazing, the software crazy, the way it was presented awesome as always. But to me what was more apparent was a slight change in brand position for the new products (this isn't just about me re-selling Apples products, I have a relevant point…).

For years, since the iMac was launched, 'i' has been prefixed to almost all of Apple's successes. Steve Jobs simply added it to the iMac to indicate the built in modem. But as the 'i' brand grew in strength it was attached to the iPod and iTunes. iPhone and iPad followed. To Android users I'm even an iSheep and some companies use the small i without any thought other than trying to be associated with Apple.

The brand direction change that has happened, was in the names of the mobile payment system and smart watch. Before yesterday in the trade press they were iWallet or iPay and of course iWatch. But Apple yesterday announced Apple Pay and Apple Watch. In fact they launched them without the word Apple:

For me bringing the core Apple (apple core?) brand back to the forefront, has shouted to the others in these two categories, "we're going to own this space just like we own phones and tablets". This is a deliberate, and to me clever, brand repositioning. Its shows that Apple are becoming Watch manufacturers and Payment merchants. These aren't sub-strands of the iFamily of products (despite all still being tied together technically … upsell anyone?).

So from an Apple-Fanboi-with-an-interest-in-marketing POV, it's another genius brand move by the masters of cool.

Now whoever gets me as secret Santa this year has lots of ideas as to what to get me…

More on Warc:

Subjects: Marketing, Digital

11 September 2014 10:01

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