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Lenovo: Motorola rebrand 'uncertain'

News, 10 August 2015
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LONDON/BEIJING: Motorola, the US smartphone maker acquired by Lenovo for $2.9bn last year, is seen as a strong brand but its Chinese parent company does not yet know how it should fit into its overall brand strategy, Lenovo's CMO has said.

David Roman told Marketing Magazine that Lenovo "certainly want products to be branded Lenovo, because the company has to be everywhere", but is still working on the nomenclature for its future products.

"We don't want to lose the strength of Motorola, particularly Moto, which I think has a very strong brand. Exactly how we do that, we have not yet figured out," he said.

Beijing-based Lenovo, one of the world's largest PC makers, acquired IBMs PC division more than a decade ago and that included the ThinkPad line of PCs.

The IBM ThinkPad later became the Lenovo ThinkPad and retained elements of the original brand and Roman said that it had become "very much a Lenovo brand".

However, the situation is different regarding Motorola because the company has not yet been put through the same degree of branding analysis.

"We haven't gone through that full analysis with Motorola – today Motorola is a product and a company," Roman said. "Now the company becomes Lenovo, but the products stay Motorola."

He said the Motorola brand will not be fully integrated until next year, partly because some of its new products are being released after development during the time it was owned by Google. These include devices like the Moto X Style smartphone.

Adrienne Hayes, CMO at Motorola, explained that both companies are seen as innovators with Motorola gaining that reputation in the West and Lenovo doing the same in the East. "We're thinking about ways to converge the best of both," she said.

However, Both Hayes and Roman indicated that even though the Motorola brand might be dropped, the Moto sub-brand might live on.

Data sourced from Marketing Magazine; additional content by Warc staff

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