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Apple’s Biennial Marketing Fail

Apple Inc. new headquarters

Apple Inc. new headquarters (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

“I’m not a cat person,” says the woman to the sales associate.

“I’m more of a dog lover,” she adds.

“Then you should probably go with Windows 8,” advises the sales associate.

And so the bad marketing path that Apple has set upon comes to continually roost.

Computer sales are down not only because people find their current rigs just fine; they are also down because consumers have grown weary of Apple’s stale and unimaginative insistence on using feline names for its Macintosh Operating System (Mac OS).

Times change, and Apple, the greatest “innovating” company of all, is no longer doing so.

Like computers, cars are products rooted in the 20th century. And one need not look any further than the automobile industry for examples of how to get sales of relatively old technology up, and keep them there.

Computer operating systems do not need new names every two years, either–they just need A name and one that we can grow and become familiar with during each subsequent and incremental release.

OS X with the roman numeral as identifier was ridiculous, never mind the preoccupation with cat names. I can’t tell you how many people would ask me, “Should I get OS Ecks?” I would reply, “No, you shouldn’t get OS Ecks, you should get OS Ten.” “What’s wrong with OS 9? “You mean Classic?” “Classic What?” “Mac Classic OS was OS 9 and earlier.” “Oh. But what’s up with all the cat names–Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, Black Mamba, oh wait, that’s a snake (and Kobe Bryant’s nickname)!?” “Is it a computer operating system or a morphing, rabid, crazy googling kitty kat that has forsaken steroids for human growth hormone?”

Really, the marketing department slamming too much booze at a Silicon Valley watering hole happy hour comes to mind. How else could Apple have agreed on this naming convention for its operating system?

“Waiter…one more round please. Seriously, Bill, I’ve got to be getting home to the wife and kids soon. Can’t we just go with the whole cat thing? It could work for like, ecks, X, I mean, ten years and then Apple will have something else that needs naming. Apple is about simplicity (hiccup), so I think the whole kitty name thing, like Macs, will just work indefinitely.”

Wrong!

Mustang GT

Mustang GT (Photo credit: new-york-city)

Again, I ask the marketing wizards Apple relies upon to look at the automobile industry…

Ford is refreshing the Mustang again. I say fine. It’s still called Mustang and it’s what you drive around. Ford didn’t change the name of it to “Horsey Mustang,” or “Mustang Sally,” or “The Blues Had a Baby and They Called It Rock ‘n’ Roll Mustang.” Ford comes out with new models of many of its popular vehicles each year. Apple comes out with a new OS every 2-2-1/2 years or so and it’s gotta have a cat name accompanied by OS Ecks and a decimal point followed by another number and then when that gets updated, another decimal point and yet another number–totally not sexy. OS X 10.8.3 just sucks us right in–Mountain Lion…roar, crash, thud, dud.

Atlanta’s Coca-Cola experienced what happens when you mess with a popular, beloved brand name–New Coke was the epic fail that Apple’s cat naming scheme has become. I honestly think Apple thought the world would run entirely on mobile devices by now. What other reason could they have had for starting out with OS Ecks 10?

They have iOS for their mobile devices like iPhones and iPads. iOS works as a mobile device operating system name. Mac OS X 10.9 Hungry Kitty now coming to an App Store near you most certainly does not.

This piece is devolving into a “Let’s Help Apple Finally Get Its Mac Operating System Naming Convention” right post. How about we blow off 10.9 completely and just go to a horse naming Mac OS convention? Mac OS horse naming convention? A horse that names the Mac OS? A Mac OS that uses horse names!

Mac OS X booting up in single-user mode

Mac OS X booting up in single-user mode (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yeah, that’ll work!

OS XI Appaloosa–available only in the Appaloosa, I mean, App store.

Feel it, love it, become one with it, Apple.

Puma Horse!?

Snow Stallion?

Old Paint?

Somebody stop me.

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