Here's one for you: how is it that some of the smartest, richest, market-savviest companies on the planet - allegedly - can't seem to figure out how to name their products in a way that isn't strikingly confusing?
The "new iPad" is not to be confused with the iPad 2. The new iPad is in fact, iPad 3. Only, Apple doesn't call it that - nor do they market it as "new iPad" anymore, either. Rather, it is now branded as "iPad with Retina display" - with the "R" capitalized, though not the "d."
Don't ask me why.
While the iPad with Retina display is newer than iPad 2 it does not come with a model number. Nor does the iPad Mini. At least, not yet. I assume that Apple will still sell "iPad Mini" - likely at a lower price - when the newest "Mini" model is released. Which I'm also guessing will be called "iPad Mini with Retina display." Or maybe iPad Mini 2.
After that, all bets are off.
Which brings up the question: how is it that some of the smartest, richest, market-savviest companies on the planet - allegedly - can't seem to figure out how to name their products in a way that isn't strikingly confusing?
Welcome To Branding Hell
What comes after iPhone 5? iPhone 5S, perhaps? Or iPhone 6? Is there any real difference?
And will it come pre-loaded with iOS 7?
Yet despite the inexplicable naming conventions that Apple uses for its products, it's not the worst perpetrator - not even close.
- HTC One
- HTC One S
- HTC One SV
- HTC One V
- HTC One X
- HTC One X+ (no, I did not make that up)
I'm not even going to attempt to wade through the angrily confusing versions and price points of software products, such as Microsoft Office. There's "Premium," "365," "Enterprise," Mid-Sized Business" - to name only a few!
Technology is here to help us. Otherwise, it does not belong. Technology with a confusing name is, therefore, suspect. If you can't even get the name right, what else might be wrong with it?
A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Consider Samsung. Go into an AT&T store, for example, and there you find at least six different "Samsung Galaxy" devices. These are not to be confused, however, with the various "Galaxy Nexus" devices. In other words, the Galaxy brand name now means essentially nothing.
If you don't believe me, just answer this question: which Galaxy is right for you? A Samsung Galaxy S III or a Samsung Galaxy Note II? Will you even bother to find out? Should you have to try?
What? There's a line of various Galaxy "Tabs"?
Does Samsung not want my business?
And is the Galaxy Note 8.0 four times better than the Galaxy Note II? (Or do Roman numerals count for more?) Wait. Will the next version of the Galaxy Note 10.1 be a 10.2?
Nor is it possible to divine the brand meaning - and thus the brand value - of the Motorola Droid line versus Android versus Nexus - all of which is owned by Google. Which I've heard is now overseen by the Google Chrome team.
Do companies just pick names out of a hat?
If not, then how much money did Nokia pay its marketing staff to promote the Lumia 820 as "our most versatile phone?" Was it more or less than they paid the team that branded the Lumia 920 as "our most amazing phone?"
In just the U.S., there is a Lumia 710, 800 810, 820, 822, 900 and 920. I dare you to uncover the meaning, intent, price, value, speed and/or ability of any of those based on their actual name. According to Nokia's own site, the Lumia 900 is available "from $0.01" whereas the Lumia 800 is "from 526.72."
Why? It seems backwards.
And, no, I am even going to try and select which of these fourteen different Blackberry smartphones is right for me.
Are these companies even paying attention? Maybe it's time for some brand simplification to put some sense in the market place.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.