Apple recently announced updates to the iPad Air and iPad Mini, two tablet models that many thought would be discontinued soon. It's now lead to a confusing mess where there's an iPad(2018), iPad Air (2019), iPad Mini (5th gen), and of course the iPad Pros.
For a company known for it's simplified product lines and focus on quality it's been weird to see this gradual shift to sprawling lineups. Before there was just the iPad. iPad Pro fit nicely with that. So does iPad Mini. But what does the Air in iPad Air even mean? It's not an indicator of the thinnest or coolest the design, so why was it chosen?
The obvious answer is for the brand recognition it brings to the product. Air is a known subcategory of Apple devices. But without any obvious meaning, it makes it difficult for customers to know which iPad they should buy. Is the Air better than the regular iPad, do I need a Pro?
Which all highlights how important branding can be especially when it's for a wide array of products. The wrong branding can lower the odds of success. The right one can make your products speak for itself. If even Apple can have such confusing names, we all have to be more thoughtful about how we name our projects.