Motorola is not exactly in favour of completely phasing out its branding. Instead, it is planning to adopt a dual brand strategy to retain ‘Moto’ brand name that already gained huge popularity in the smartphone market.
Technology site CNet earlier today citied Motorola Chief Operating Officer Rick Osterloh and reported that the Lenovo-owned company will soon feature “Moto by Lenovo” brand label. “We’ll slowly phase out Motorola and focus on Moto,” Osterloh told the site in an interview at the CES.
The site also mentions that Lenovo is in plans to use its corporate brand on Motorola’s device lineup to unify the entire product portfolio. The iconic “M” batwing logo will continue to be featured on Moto devices, though.
The new development emerged nearly two years after Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility from Google for a $2.51 billion deal. The company became a wholly-owned Lenovo subsidiary in October 2014. And most recently in August last year, it started local manufacturing of its smartphones at a facility in India where Lenovo also manufactures its devices.
All this gives a reason for the phase out of the brand that was launched four decades before the arrival of smartphones. But, just as any other matured player would do, Motorola is not complete phasing out its brand or what we can say is not in favour to simply say goodbye to the smartphone market. It is set to adopt a new strategy across smartphones and wearables to protect its ‘Moto’ brand name.
In an email statement to TechOne3, a Motorola spokesperson revealed the strategy.
“Motorola Mobility continues to exist as a Lenovo company and is the engineering and design engine for all of our mobile products. However, for our product branding we will utilise a dual brand strategy across smartphone and wearable’s going forward using Moto and Vibe globally,” the statement reads.
The statement brings clarity on what Lenovo and Motorola are planning for the future. It is quite presumable that future Motorola smartphones will have Lenovo’s name but with Motorola’s ‘Moto’ brand that the company brought with the Moto X in 2013.
‘Moto’ brand will help Lenovo expand across western countries
Analysts believe that the new change will help Lenovo expand across western countries. “For Lenovo to become a truly global smartphone brand, it can leverage the brand name of Motorola in western countries where it has negligible presence as of now,” said Nitish Pande, research analyst — Devices and Ecosystem, Counterpoint Research.
“However in developing countries as people upgrade to higher price points, Lenovo can rely on Moto devices to upgrade those users rather than taking a longer route of positioning Vibe as a premium smartphone segment.”
Lenovo is additionally in development to bring new Motorola smartphones to the US with its Vibe brand. However, this would not happen at least sometime in the coming future.
Already a strong contender in India
In India, Motorola has sold over 5.6 million smartphones after its comeback in February 2014. Lenovo, on the other, has an even stronger presence. The company in November announced that it sold over one million units of its K3 Note alone in the country.
According to market research and analyst firm IDC, Lenovo and Motorola as a joint group holds 9.5 percent of the total smartphone market in India. The Lenovo K3 Note, A6000 Plus and Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen) were counted among selling smartphones of the two companies in the last quarter.