Today, tech giant Apple is almost synonymous with iconic product names that start with a lowercase ‘i’. The prefix is no longer inseparable from the company and its many gadgets. From iMacs to iPods, the tech giant has cracked one of the most famous marketing tricks: the code.
How did the company arrive at the iconic prefix?
The company first introduced the brand’s icon to the world with the iMac in 1998 and introduced the first iPhone in 2007. As simple as the prefix might sound, the journey to get to the legendary characters was quite twisted. Many believe that the “i” in front of all Apple gadgets simply means “Internet,” but the letter means much more.
The origins of the iconic prefix can be traced back to when Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs was reinstated after being laid off to save a crumbling company. Jobs was preparing to revive the company with the launch of an upgraded version of his Macintosh. This computer his system allowed people to access the Internet. This was the most visible upgrade Jobs wanted.
In 2012, Ken Segall opened up about his branding ideas in the New York Times. For those unfamiliar, Segall is the advertising creative director who rose to fame with Apple’s “Think Different” advertising campaign. Segall shared that Jobs wanted a unique and catchy name for the gadget. He definitely wanted the computer system to have a reference to his Macintosh.
Candidates on the list included Macman and MacRocket
But things got complicated as the product’s launch date was approaching and the team still didn’t know the name of the gadget. Jobs was enthusiastic about using his MacMan his tick, but Segall objected because it looked too much like Pac-Man, which tipped the brand towards its toy-like nature.
After sifting through many names on the radar, the team came up with five finalists for the name. Among them was the name “iMac”. Segall chose the name because he thought the team could come up with the meaning behind the ‘i’, which stands for the internet, the imagination, and the individual.
At first Jobs hated it. But a week after he named it, Jobs started to get the hang of it. Segall told the outlet:
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