On January 9th, 2007, arguably the most memorable, groundbreaking and transformational Macworld Expo was held by Apple Computers Inc. Steve Jobs delivered two monumental announcements which included the introduction of the iPhone to the world and subsequently following this reveal, Jobs announced that the company would be removing ‘computer’ from its name to become Apple, Inc. Jobs rationalized this decision by stating that of “The Mac, iPod, Apple TV and iPhone. Only one of those is a computer. So we’re changing the name.” In addition to the iPhone reveal and sudden name change, Apple Inc. adopted a revamped, monochrome logo as well. By dropping the rainbow colors painting the previous logo, Apple was able be perceived as more fresh, modern and sophisticated by consumers. From the product reveals to the changes of the company’s overall look, we can see that a unique juxtaposition occurred. As the product assortment of the company increased and diversified, its overall brand image became more simplistic.
More Than Just a Computer Company
By disassociating themselves as being solely a player in the personal computer market, Apple was no longer confined to being perceived as a mere computer company by consumers. Dropping ‘computers’ from the Apple name has inadvertently placed a emphasis on their line of product offerings. Since its launch in 2007, Apple has sold a staggering 2.2 billion of iPhones as of 2018 according to Lifewire. Moreover, iPhones are responsible for the largest share of Apple’s revenue. The iPhone ultimately has served as the precedent for the expansion and reveal of Apple’s product assortment including the iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods.
Capitalizing on Market Opportunities
The reception of the iPhone during its first year was extraordinarily good. There was tremendous hype surrounding its launched as proven by the 3.7 million units that were sold after 6 months of being available to customers in 2007. Apple propelled to number three in terms of smartphone market share behind Nokia and BlackBerry – two names that may sound ancient to some. 2007 served as the beginning of an end for both of the aforementioned phone manufacturers as they could not keep up with the unparalleled growth of the iPhone. BlackBerry’s lackluster Curve phone and Nokia’s recall of 46 million phones during the iPhone’s first year ultimately served as the downfall for each respective company. Apple also captured substantial market share in tablets with the iPad and in the portable music market with the success of the iPod.
Apple’s Influence on Rebranding
A very similar case study involving rebranding is illustrated by Dunkin’ Donuts decision to change their name to simply Dunkin’. The removal of ‘donuts’ from the brand’s name has effectively communicated with consumers (that may not be too familiar with the brand itself) that Dunkin’ is more than just a donut shop. After all, a substantial amount of their customer base refer to the company as Dunkin’ to begin with, myself included. No longer is the chain confined to being known for just donuts and this strategic move ultimately increases the scope of the many products that the company can add to their assortment while also staying on theme.
By: Dezmond Nation