Last year when Motorola split into two companies, both called Motorola, they created brand confusion. Now Google is acquiring Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for its wireless patents. With the demise of the Motorola Mobility brand, what’s left of Motorola can begin to create a stronger, focused brand..but that is a big if.
What if Google has acquired rights to the Motorola brand? What if they use it? Motorola Solutions, the remaining part of the original Motorola, faces continuing brand chaos if Google uses the Motorola brand, too and if Google takes it in another direction.
Companies can split and its parts can be sold, but the same cannot be said for brands.
UPDATE: Google says it does plan to use the Motorola brand as will the company called Motorola Solutions. The problem remains of the market asking asking “which Motorola?” when talking about the brand. Of greater risk is that both Motorolas will be at the mercy of the other. The actions of one company will impact the actions of the other. If one Motorola stumbles, it brings the other one down. Google would be wise to build its brand equity in a name that totally owns and controls rather than cede so much to Motorola Solutions (and vice versa).