Motorola Droid Ultra family naming will just confuse consumers

Last week Pocketnow’s Jaime Rivera wrote about why Verizon should kill the Droid name. Verizon did something for Android that Google and other OEMs were having a hard time doing: marketing the brand. The entire platform was up against Apple’s killer product: the iPhone.

HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and others were building smartphones powered by Android, but named different things. Each manufacturer had their own brand, sub-brand, model, and sub-model strung together to try and describe their product. As one might expect, it got confusing.

Then Verizon did something brilliant: they stole the stage.

Those are the ‘Droids you’re looking for

Verizon licensed “Droid” from LucasArts and started an aggressive marketing campaign to help people learn about Android — or, more specifically, Verizon’s Android-powered devices. It worked very well. Before long the general public was referring to any Android-powered device as a “Droid”. This proved that Verizon was successful getting the message out — but failed terribly at differentiating their product from all the other Androids out there.

Verizon pressed forward with the brand, and now we have the “Motorola Droid Ultra” family — and its naming is going to confuse customers.

Droid Ultra Confusion

Once any brand starts naming things with “final” descriptors, it signals the coming of the end of that brand. After all, how can you top something with “ultimate” in the name?

That brings us to the Droid Ultra. What can customers expect with other products in the “Droid Ultra” lineup? How about a Droid Ultra Mini? A Droid Ultra Maxx?

Using Verizon/Motorola logic, a “Droid Maxx” should include a hardware QWERTY slider (that’s the Droid part) with a big battery (that’s the Maxx part). But the Droid Ultra Maxx won’t.

Why? The “Droid Ultra” is the name of this product line, like the Droid RAZR before it. The RAZR was unique in its thinness. When they added the Maxx part, customers were quick to understand that this was a RAZR that had been “maxed out” with a big battery.

People aren’t going to refer to these devices as the “Ultra” like they did with the “RAZR”. “Ultra” is a descriptive word not a noun. If anything, “Ultra” should be one step up from “Maxx”, and denote that it has a HUGE battery. Right? Nope, you’re wrong.

Perhaps if they’d called it the Droid Ultrixx there wouldn’t be confusion with the “Droids” with the physical keyboard, and all the other devices with a “Droid” prefix. Then again, maybe the Droid with the physical keyboard were missing a sub-brand like “Tap” (Droid Tap, Droid Tap 2, Droid Tap Maxx — maybe there’s a reason I don’t work in Marketing).

Maybe nobody will care, but I’m scratching my head regarding the naming decisions around the Droid Ultra. Aren’t you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy". By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.