Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?  Would a Mac by any other name be as cool?

Is Mac just another brand of PC, albeit with superior brand awareness and advertising?  I asked several people this question over the past week and I can tell you, to the average consumer, everything is in the name.

"If there are two identical computers on the table - same processor, same peripherals, same hard drives - but one is a Mac and one is a Dell, which would you buy?"  Hand's down, all but one person said, 'Mac.'

I repeated the experiment, explaining to some that Windows Vista would be installed on both systems and to some that Mac OS would be installed on both systems.  Still, nearly everyone said they would buy the Mac over the Dell.  Delving further, I would remind my interviewees that there were zero differences between the computers - every element was identical between the two machines.

This made no difference in their opinion, Mac was the way to go.

This speaks to the sheer power of the Mac brand name.  So what's in a name?  Everything!  How strong is your brand name?