Apple is normally very good at branding. But what’s with their new iPod, called the iPod nano (PRODUCT)RED? (Initially, I thought the name was an HTML coding error on the Apple Web site.)

I can’t argue with the largesse behind the product. The 4GB unit costs the same US$199 as Apple’s other 4GB iPod nanos, but:

Choose the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition and Apple will give $10 of its purchase price to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.

That’s a worthy cause. But when it came to the naming, particularly the use of the word “product,” this may be a case where the marketers thought too different.

>> Update 10/15: Visiting the Global Fund‘s Web site, I learned that there are a variety of goods/services from different companies entitled (PRODUCT)RED as part of this awareness campaign. I remain unimpressed by the branding, though it’s hard to blame Apple in this case.

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick