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Amazing Apple Anecdote: The Story Behind The Command Key Logo

Stashed in: Steve Jobs, Brands!, Apple, @ifindkarma, Awesome, Stories, Apple

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Story of why the Apple key was changed.

It surprised me to read that Steve Jobs wanted FEWER Apples on the screen: “There are too many Apples on the screen! It’s ridiculous! We’re taking the Apple logo in vain! We’ve got to stop doing that!”

I would have thought the more Apples, the better.

So thank you for sharing this, Keri. I learned something new!

Makes sense. Don't dilute the brand with shit.  

How is it diluting the brand to remind people of Apple with every shortcut?

 The best brands disappear; I can only think of two  times I see an apple logo using a Mac, and only twice when using an iPhone or iPad as well: on the physical device itself and on the boot up screen. 

People a) don't want to feel that they're being sold to or part of some conglomerate. How crazy is it that one of the most *successful* companies in recent american history has a fanatical customer base of people who "love" their product and have a "personal" relationship with either the founder (Steve Jobs) or their products? 

This is a feature, by design, and not a bug.

b) You don't want people to be reminded of your product by the logo, but by how great it is to use it --- a positive association, per se. When coaches or athletes show up at news conferences with gatorade bottles or tiger woods' wears his nike cap and nike polo, it is *just enough* and not too much. The swoosh isn't everywhere, it's noticeable, but doesn't take away from the object of desire -- the athlete, in this case. 

Unsurprisingly, most tech companies are not very good at understanding the social psychology of branding. I'm not purporting to be a branding expert, but I think fundamentally one can grasp by association what brands do that are successful. 

The flip side is a product which is not competing on quality: think Redbull. Redbull might have the perfect coca-cola like formula for their drinks; I'm sure they put a lot of work into it. But the reality is, *energy* drinks are interchangeable and they're building an emotional tie with Redbull and doing amazing things -- skydiving from 23miles, snowboarding, cliff jumping, whatever.

 I kind of miss the open-apple button.  But it was strange to have open-apple on one side and closed-apple on the other.  

 All signs/meanings can wear out from overuse. Using a logo more than once on a single item, or once a desktop, starts to make the brand seem cheaper and more generic. It's a computer! And a menu! And a button! And a decoration! (It may work in some places where free/common/approachable *and* tribal-solidarity are important -- eg sporting team logos or national flags -- but definitely not for exclusive/elite brands.)

So using the flower symbol does not hurt Apple's brand nearly as much as using an Apple. Huh. I learned something new.

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