Name That Brand: An Etymology Exercise with Brand Names

brand-buildEtymology is the “study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time”. When we talk about names of brands, it is what they mean to their customers; therefore what makes it basically impossible to change. Though it can always accept little changes and merges, it’s something companies carry on forever. They are what they are known for: their name and what it represents

When we think about a specific brand, like Apple or Starbucks, the image that automatically springs to mind is either their logo or product (so, an iSomething and a warm cup of coffee). Along with this image, it also brings me sensations from all their branding actions that we’ve had experienced before, like TV ads or the packaging from when you buy on their shops, but this can also depend on your experiences with other visual aspects of the brand.

apple-meetWe all like Apple products. They have become objects that define our modern era and are wanted by everyone. It doesn’t matter why you want an iPad Pro or iPhone 7, the fact is most of us would’t mind buying one, if only we could afford it. Turning products into economic forbidden fruits is a sure fire way to add value to your brand and there are examples of this in every industry.

“The reason why literal meanings sometimes have much more behind it is, as humans we are both creative and creative beings by nature”.

This association between the apple in the garden and the Apple brand logo came randomly so we started researching a bit about the origin of the name and found out several theories. They are many rumours about the origin, from it being an easy name to appear at the beginning of any alphabetical list to the fact that Jobs and Wozniak were very into The Beatles (who had signed with record label Apple Records) at the time. Other say that it was merely a reflection of their diet back then, who knows? Jobs was a smart guy, we all know that. Besides, they could have used a whole apple silhouette as their iconic logo, but instead they chose a bitten one. Thing is you can find meanings and speculate a lot about anything if you want to, it just takes a little imagination.

The reason why literal meanings sometimes have much more behind it is, as humans we are both creative and creative beings by nature. It’s amazing what you can think something means and then how disappointed you can be when you discover the “truth”.