Lenovo has announced at 2016 CES that the iconic brand name of Motorola, the former mobile phone giant that it purchased from Google in 2014, will be removed from its product range of mobile phones later this year.
What makes this disappointing is that the Motorola brand was once synonymous with the early mobile industry, with Motorola being credited as the inventor of the modern mobile phone.
Indeed in the mid-2000’s the Motorola brand was at its zenith with the ultra slim Razr phones. Unfortunately, for the company the huge success of the razr style was difficult to replicate with future designs and the company soon fell into financial trouble and ended up being bought by Google in 2012.
Google has since offloaded Motorola Mobile operations and brands to Lenovo only two years later, though notably it kept hold of most of Motorola’s research and development arm. Lenovo says it will remove the Motorola name from its new range of phones using instead the Moto logo for high-end devices and Vibe brand will be used for budget devices. Notably the Motorola’s M bat-wing will still appear on the high-end Moto-X brands but will also sport the blue Levono logo.
"Lenovo does not have a bad brand but Motorola stands for a lot, especially in mobile," said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst for Kantar WorldPanel. "It would be a shame to move away from that."
However, for Levono, a change of brand name does make marketing sense as there is little point pushing a name that, although steeped in history, is no longer considered fashionable. It is more logical for Lenovo to push its own brand, for although the company is a world leader in PC manufacturing, it has little brand recognition in the mobile market space.
The success of Huawei in establishing its brand – previously recognised as a global telecommunications equipment manufacturer – in such a short time has perhaps influenced Levono, that it too could replicate that marketing success in the consumer mobile market.