Is this the end of the Motorola brand as we know it? This is very likely as Lenovo, in a major move, announced that Moto phones would no longer be branded with the Motorola name. Lenovo phones is what they would be branded with when the policy is implemented.
Who saw this coming? That an iconic name like Motorola would be phased out in the name of ego-driven corporate policy termed branding, which has at its base nothing more or less than the pursuit of more profits. Personally, what makes the move seriously galling is the fact that Motorola has being ever present in the mobile phone business. As a matter of fact, Motorola invented the cell phone about 40 years ago. And over the intervening years, Motorola made some very stylish phones which were very popular in the market. They maintained a dominant presence for a long time before Nokia, and later Apple with the iPhone and Samsung phones completely surged ahead and became the dominant market players in the mobile phone business.
When Google bought Motorola’s phone business back in 2012, the feeling was that a new dawn had come to the brand. Google started well alright when it launched the Moto X series a year later to positive critical reviews from analysts and users. The Moto X smartphone did well in the market. But the dominance of the big two, Samsung and Apple, ensured that the glass ceiling for Moto X sales was reached in a short space of time. The numerous budget Chinese android phones with good specs didn’t help Moto X’s situation in the market.
Still it was a shock when Google opted out of Motorola phone when it sold the mobile arm to Lenovo at the end of January 2014. Google must have being desperate to dump Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Taking a big hit for what they bought for $12.5 billion, while keeping the patent to some softwares unique to Motorola.
The move by Lenovo strangely enough mimicked what happened to Nokia. After buying Nokia in 2013 for $7.2 billion, Microsoft made promises about how they intend to make the brand dominant again through aggressive development and marketing of the Lumia brand of smartphones. But after it became apparent that the public was not in sync with Microsoft’s dream for Lumia, the company soon enough announced that it was dropping the name Nokia from all Lumia phones. And that was how another iconic brand was killed by the unforgiving race for profit.
The chief operating officer of Motorola while announcing the changes at the ongoing CES in Las Vegas said Lenovo ‘will keep using the Motorola name in organizational settings’ and that his team would run the Motorola mobile operations in Lenovo.
“We’ll slowly phase out Motorola and focus on Moto,” he said, as if killing an iconic brand name slowly would make it more acceptable. In the mad world of silicons and super fast processors, no brand no matter how iconic is safe from the corporate hammer. Everything is all about the bottom line: survival of the most profitable