Why Are So Many Tech Brands Named After Fruit?


Another social sharing app. Another fruit. This month’s launch of the new social messaging app “Peach” is causing a stir on social media. Founded by Dom Hofmann, creator of Vine video app, Peach’s USP compared to other messaging apps is it lets users use “magic words” to send interactive content.

What’s also interesting about Peach is its name. The tech industry has something of a tradition when it comes to fruit named brands. Following Peach’s launch, one of my first thoughts was – “Why another fruit?”

Fruit named brands seem to be synonymous with the tech industry. Examples include Apple, Blackberry, Raspberry Pi and defunct brands such as Apricot Computers and Tangerine Computer Systems. There is clearly a tradition of “fruit naming” in the tech sector that goes back to the late 70s early 80s.

But why fruit?

The tradition of fruit naming influenced Raspberry Pi founder Ebden Upton. In an interview back in 2012, Upton commented “Raspberry is a reference to a fruit naming tradition in the old days of microcomputers. A lot of companies were named after fruit. There’s Tangerine Computer Systems, Apricot Computers, and old British company Acorn, which is a family of fruit.”

Both Jobs and Wozniak considered several technical names, before realising that Apple was a good fit. Even though the products are technical, a simple name such as a fruit clearly works. While Blackberry’s name is associated with its product, but also has an association with the fruit. The word “black” evoked the color of high-tech devices, while the small, oval keys looked like the drupelets of a blackberry.

So, is keeping up with this tradition of fruit naming a smart move by Peach?

I believe it is.

The brand’s founders have come up with a name that fulfils all of the key criteria when naming a brand. First, it’s unique. The choice of name will allow the brand to develop a distinct identity.

Second, it’s easy to remember, say, spell and travels well. When considering the latter point, one only has to think of Apple. During my visits to China I’m reminded of Apple’s popularity and the adaptation of its brand name into Chinese – “Pingguo” (Ping-Gwor). Choosing a fruit avoids the difficulties associated with translating a fictitious brand name.

Third, the name can be extended across different product categories. Again, Apple is a great example when you consider all of the different types of products within its portfolio.

Finally, by choosing a fruit as its brand name, Peach is making itself synonymous with the tech industry. In fact, it’s simple. Why choose an obscure name when a fruit ticks all the right boxes?

It will be interesting to see if Peach can compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter. But by choosing a distinctive, easily recognisable fruit as its brand name, it has the potential to develop a strong brand identity.

Will we see any more fruit named tech brands? There is certainly scope for a few more. What about grapefruit, watermelon or Ugli fruit? Perhaps the last one is taking it a bit too far!

What do you think of Peach’s brand name? Do you think it’s a smart move to follow the tradition of “fruit naming” in the tech industry? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments section below.