Name Game #3: Name That Brand

By Laurel Sutton

June 1, 2011

The Name Game – an oldie but a goodie – has stumped even the savviest brand experts. See if you can guess the famous company or product name described in each game below.

5 clues. 1 famous brand name. 0 shame in defeat.

Game #3: Name That Brand

  • Pine, crab, and candy
  • It’s not their core business
  • John Chapman would be proud
  • Great jobs
  • Pippin

Click through for the answer…

Answer #3: Apple Computer

The word “apple” combines with Clue #1 to make new words: pineapple, crabapple, candy apple; Apple’s “core” business is computers, not fruit (Clue #2); John Chapman was better known as Johnny Appleseed (Clue #3); Steve Jobs was a founder of Apple (Clue #4); Pippin is a type of apple (Clue #5).

The story of how Apple got its name has become something of an urban legend. A survey of Web sources and branding books reveals many different versions of the process by which Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak selected this powerful, simple, and evocative name. Some of the stories claim that Steve Jobs was a Beatles fan and wanted to allude to their record company, Apple Corps; that he had just ended a summer vacation picking apples at an orchard in Washington; that he was eating an apple when he and Steve Wozniak filed the incorporation papers; that he thought of the apple as the perfect fruit, and he wanted Apple to be the perfect company; and finally, that “apple” was just one of several names generated in a brainstorming session, and no one could come up with a better one by the 5pm deadline. Both Jobs and Wozniak have discussed this topic in interviews without settling on a decisive answer. Jobs managed to combine several of these elements into one story he told recently: “I was actually a fruitarian at that point in time. I ate only fruit… And we were about three months late in filing a fictitious business name so I threatened to call the company Apple Computer unless someone suggested a more interesting name by five o’clock that day. Hoping to stimulate creativity. And it stuck. And that’s why we’re called Apple.” When contacted about the issue, an Apple PR representative said, “We actually don’t have an official statement on this topic per se.” Perhaps the real reason it was chosen was that as an arbitrary name, “Apple” really could mean anything to anyone.

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