An Apple to Sound so Sweet – A Case Study for Naming your Brand

In a world of labels, logos and mile-high HD billboards, it’s worth considering the simple yet powerful story of the Honeycrisp apple – a story that shows the power of a name, no matter what the industry.

Apples have a special place in American history, but by the mid-1900’s, the apple market was dominated by two varieities: Golden Delicious and Red Delicious. Beautifully colored and shaped they were, but delicious? Compared to a tree stump, sure, they tasted fine – but somewhere along the line, growers de-emphasized taste and mainly bred for outward characteristics like color, shape, size, etc. Flavor was left behind, and apple consumption suffered; a sad decline for a fruit that had incorporated itself into a number of American myths and classic baked goods. This hayride’s almost over, so stick with me.

Around this time, scientists at the University of Minnesota were developing an apple cultivar to resurrect the apple market. Its taste was superb and sweet, almost melon-like. Its texture was crisp and fresh, and it remained enjoyable for months after the harvest. The new apple deserved a name worthy of its unique deliciousness, something to intrigue consumers while succinctly representing what the fruit held for their jaded taste buds.

But the rest is not history. The Honeycrisp, as we know, is a staple of supermarkets and farmers’ stands alike, but how many of us realize that the Honeycrisp apple is less than 20 years old? In terms of fruit cultivars, that’s quite a short span, but its success has seen the apple market double since its introduction in 1991! The reason for the Honeycrisp’s success is all in the name. It connected with the public, it connected with growers, and it repositioned the apple to the center of our national mantle.

Apples may be just another product, but the power in a name like Honeycrisp is undeniable. There are a number of industries that could use some revitalization in the present age, but innovation requires a name that reflects the properties of your product while connecting with a flighty audience. And this goes for websites, applications, magazines, and newsletters. Now, to look at another revolutionary Apple: iPod. Great name. Great description. Maybe not the best for baking with though. Food for thought.