Saturday, June 7, 2014

Please Don't Call It An iWatch

Although there is no formal release from Apple regarding the sale of a wearable device, there are numerous reports indicating that a Fall release is likely.  Should it come in October 2014, the device, expected to be called an iWatch, is expected to become a huge Holiday hit.

But I beseech you Apple, don't cave in and call it an iWatch.  Given all the news from your recent WWDC event, the operating system being developed and integrated across Apple products, is meant to do so much more.  From health monitoring to communication, the potential seems enormous.

Yet the term watch, even though the cute little "i" is before it, seems to keep it old school.  Brands need to be future focused and a watch is very old school.  Just look at how a brand name limits.  Example one, Boston Chicken needed to rebrand to Boston Market because consumers didn't know they sold more than just chicken.  Example 2, Radio Shack is stuck in retail hell because the "radio" label limits what the want to sell.  Example 3 and more, every cable network has replaced their name with initials to broaden their appeal.  AMC is no longer American Movie Classics, Arts & Entertainment is now A&E, and The Learning Channel is TLC.  The list of brand names that needed changing is a long one.

Brand names matter when focusing on future growth.  A name that is too limiting often hurts the long term appeal; some can be easily changed and rebranded, others cannot.  To limit the forthcoming Apple wearable devices with a brand name that combines old school with interactive may be cute but there must be more appealing alternatives that better capture the full brand value that you intend to sell to the consumer.  Since most of your brands use an "iP" (iPhone, iPod, iPad), how about "iPulse" or "iPlus".  Surprise us please with a brand name that makes your release of a new generation of wearable devices that much more appealing.  As to iWatch, I say it should not be considered.

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