BACKGROUND / CHALLENGE:
In the early 90s, longtime archenemies Apple and IBM, announced the ‘deal of the decade’ by forming a unique alliance in a bold attempt to maintain their powerful yet threatened grip on the computer industry. The two companies signed a letter of intent and sought to create two joint venture companies – one, to develop the next generation microcomputer operating system, the other, to deliver multi-media solutions and interactive content. Jonathan Bell was a member of the Brand Strategy & Naming team that worked on the creation of names for these two entities.
Taligent was created for the new software business that sought to create a universal, object-oriented operating system that could run on any hardware platform. The name Taligent was selected on the strength of its rationale (‘the talent of the people, combined with the intelligence of the technology’) which paid homage to the core team of 150 software engineers who had transferred to the new Taligent business from Apple. The brand’s logo/symbol underscored the sense of two elements coming together by visualizing the ripple effect from two pebbles being dropped into water.
The CommonPoint name was created for Taligent’s object oriented software system that would support a comprehensive set of features, including compound documents, 2-D and 3-D graphics, and real-time document sharing and collaboration. The CommonPoint architecture was groundbreaking at the time because it offered the possibility of “zero lines of code” programming and would be hardware and operating system independent.
For the multimedia business, the name Kaleida was chosen. The Kaleida business launched in 1994 and was one of the earliest companies to post a corporate website.
Besides these two joint venture brands, Jonathan Bell worked with the Apple marketing team to create a strategic naming and codification system for Apple products. This work included the creation of the ‘AV’ modifier to denote multi-media or audio-visual capabilities on the Quadra product brand.
Although the Taligent business and CommonPoint architecture were dissolved in the late 90s, in 2014 Apple/IBM announced an new partnership that continues today to bring market-leading strengths of each company to transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps. Today, Apple is the most valuable brand in the world with a value well over $300B and a market cap of $2.6 trillion.