A Pad By Any Other Name

February 2, 2010 | by BatesMeron

Apple recently announced the arrival of its much-hyped iPad: a book-sized iPod touch that’s supposed to revolutionize something or other.

And while I’m sure the iPad will be supercool as advertised, it’s not the product I’m here to dissect, but the name.

For months leading up to this launch, there was considerable speculation as to what this fantastical device would be dubbed. The media’s working title was the Tablet. Creative types nationwide were counting on some version of Slate, Canvas or Palette, while more conservative folks were certain to end up with iSomething.

This culminated with what I consider the definitive naming prognostication just days before the launch, which you can view here. I love this writeup because it hits so close to home. Every time we’re approached to develop a brand name—whether a company, a product or a program—we engage in a process that spans strategy and creativity. We weigh the pros and cons, consider the opportunities and anticipate the pratfalls, and think three steps ahead to how it’ll pull through as a logo, sign or website.

(Sometimes, the Branding Muse smiles upon us and we conceive something truly insightful—capturing in one word the essence of fine organic living, business intelligence or anti-asphyxiation activism.)


Back to the iPad. Our office is split on the final name decision. Some feel it lacks the innovative punch that Apple is famous for. Others see it as wisely trading on the sterling iPod name. Both agree that it’s the obvious choice, which doesn’t make it the wrong one.

But damn, Apple sure knows how to make an entrance.

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