Everyone born before 1996 is sure to remember the “Hello Moto” sonic; maybe even owned a Motorola Razr flip phone. But having been relatively silent since the game-changing entrance of the iPhone in 2008, the “Hello Moto” greeting is about to crash back onto the consumer’s radar, as the brand is resurrected by Lenovo. Having been purchased by the leading PC company in 2014, Moto has undergone a huge rebrand, with innovation on digital channels paving the way for the brand’s revival.
It Was Acceptable In The Nineties
Figaro Digital spoke to Jo Moore, worldwide executive brand director, Lenovo, at NewsCred’s #ThinkContent event, about how the PC brand has combined the successes of the past with the innovation of the future, to reignite one of the most memorable brands of the nineties. “They are a fabulous family of phones,” says Moore. “[They] are really trying to bring back the energy and excitement, the enthusiasm of what Motorola had in the nineties when it was very much at its heyday. But in the new world and for a new audience, because the phone has evolved since then.” As innovation in the technological sphere continues to increase, consumers are expecting more and more from their devices, and that they should be able to integrate seamlessly into their daily lives. Lenovo’s task throughout this re-brand is to show that the Motorola brand will do just that. “It’s just embracing the more dynamic nature, the fluid nature of the world today, what digital channels will allow, and also what the consumer expects. We as a company never stand still, but nor do our customers, they’re in that world of things changing and evolving and adapting.”
Throwing Down The Gauntlet
While the mobile phone market might have continued in an unchallenged upward spiral of innovation, Moore suggests that this might be slowing down. “We all remember what happened in 2008, when the smartphone arrived, and everyone said ‘oh my goodness, it’s a game changer!’ But that same sense of game-changing has got less as the years have gone by and as the different versions have gone out.” Says Moore. Indeed, as Hello Moto’s new, fairly cheeky promotional video declares, “Rose gold is not an idea, it’s just a colour.” It’s only by being disruptive in this space that brands can continue to drive the competitive edge that will push innovation further and further, and force brands out of their complacent comfort zones.
Drawing on Motorola’s past triumphs, Lenovo is able to assert Motorola as a disruptor in an industry which for a long time has been relatively monopolised. “I don’t think it’s about dragging out the old car from the garage and dusting it off! It’s picking out the pieces that make sense, which you can take with you into the next chapter of the brand.” Indeed, one of the key features of the new Moto X is its adaptability, fitting an array of “mods” to convert the phone into a variety of different devices, from a camera to speakers to a projector. Lenovo have been able to spot an opportunity in a saturated market and exploit it to great effect. Their customisable phones involve the consumer in the creative process in a dynamic and symbiotic way. As Moore says, it not only attracts consumers familiar with the brand from the nineties: “[…] it brings in a whole new audience who perhaps wasn’t around then, to be brought into the brand, and see a whole new perspective on it. That’s why we’re being more dynamic with the sonic, so it will be more user-generated, and eventually people will be able to create their own Hello Motos. A brand has to be constantly moving and innovating and never standing still.”
So is there any advice for brands who are looking to reconnect, or generate new leads on digital. Moore suggests it’s all down to carefully considering your content output. “[Brands are] putting out too much content. Too much, and not very good as well.” Indeed, Hello Moto’s promotional video and revamped sonic are two short and punchy pieces, but there hasn’t been an influx of new Motorola content besieging consumers across platforms. “Do one thing well, rather than three things averagely,” says Moore. “You can have those one hit wonders, 15 minutes of fame[…] and then it disappears, and we’re a very fickle world because of this.” By dedicating itself to one or two great, engaging pieces of content, marketing teams can generate high-quality content that will engage a far wider audience. “It doesn’t just happen overnight […] it takes time to build great ideas, great strategies, great content, great brands […] It takes a little time to develop, but that’s OK.”