UA744Flagship From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 10228 times:
I'd just like to say I've been getting more and more impressed with Northwest's rebranding. It has already gone a long way to makeover a once tired and ridiculed brand (ie 'northworst bowling shoe') into an airline not only geared towards business travelers, but the airline for SAVVY business travelers.
Its ad rollout both in print, television, and online (I haven't heard any radio spots yet) has been very cohesive. The "hi-tech" look of the silver on its planes associates with the slick new look of its World Business class, the motif from its exceptionally aesthetically pleasing website goes along with its ads in the WSJ. (tagline: Now you're flying smart.
Its television commercial features contemporary elements of style: slowed/sped up and spliced motion, an electronic hymn, and that always sophisticated and cutting edge british "computer voice" narration. (Know what I mean?)
One of the most integral parts of the new brand is the change of name to reflect a more global sounding airline. Taking note of British Midland's successful rebranding into bmi British Midland, Northwest's branding agency chose to represent NW as nwa NORTHWEST AIRLINES. In addition, incorporating the new logo with the catchy name 'nwa' goes a step ahead of bmi, since bmi has no identifiable logo and merely a logotype.
Northwest's new logo, while unnerving for people who liked the cleverness of the old one and loathe the fact that the compass pointer is opposite on the starboard side of the plane, really supercedes the cleverness of the old logo. How? It is one of the only brands that combines a logotype with a logo.
The A319, in particular, showcases well the new look of an airline that really does appear to be flying smarter. I used to be a Northwest basher myself, but I have grown to quickly admire their latest efforts.
Look at the ingenious combined logo/logotype on the A319! Perfect!
Plugger From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 83 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 9853 times:
There is hope for NW to be sure. Their new look is indeed impressive and the best they've ever had since the old blue cheatline days. Now if they can improve their inflight training program and teach their FAs how to smile and be polite they'd have a good thing going. The jury is still out on that aspect of their service. Their check-in people could use a Dale Carnegie course as well.
Once those things are handled then they still need to tackle their famously mediocre catering.
Dtw757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1415 posts, RR: 2 Reply 5, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9801 times:
"Now if they can improve their inflight training program and teach their FAs how to smile and be polite they'd have a good thing going."
I guess it just depends on the individual FA. I recently sat in an exit row on a NWA flight from MSP-DTW and was talking the the FA's facing me. They were two of the nicest people you could meet. I've also had the same experience on a NWA flight from DTW-AMS. On a whole I would say that most of the FA's I've come in contact with were really nice. I think Northwest is doing a great job.
ElectraBob From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 931 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9719 times:
I have seen many newly painted NW aircraft and am quite amazed at the new colors. The color seems to change depending on the sky conditions and the location of the sun. I have seen some newly painted aircraft that appear to look grey, some look bright silver, and some actually appear to have a gold tint in the color. No matter what the color, they are simply beautiful.
Was out at DTW yesterday, and saw 2 new A330's land back to back. I had to look around and make sure I was actually at DTW.
Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool.....
AIR757200 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1579 posts, RR: 8 Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 9678 times:
I saw a commercial on ABC last night. I liked the tagline.
Was out at DTW yesterday, and saw 2 new A330's land back to back. I had to look around and make sure I was actually at DTW.
I still haven't spotted one flying over my house yet on arrival into DTW. I'll be moving to Milford (33 mile drive to airport when I go back to work!) soon and there is hardly any traffic up there (if there is, they are much higher).
SNBA319 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2003, 298 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 9662 times:
I agree with you folks this is quite a stunning livery. It is both dynamic and smart with distinctly modern appearance and does not in the least look tacky.
I also like the way nwa have incorporated both the logo and the logotype in their website and for instance their newspaper (forgot the name). Although to complete this it would look very nice in shiny layout in stead of the newspaper material they use now. I Guess it costs too much for such a big airline.
I actually still have to see the first one in real life...
BAGSMASHER From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 165 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9595 times:
The new image does look much better than the old but they (NW) have said that there are no plans at this time to refurbish the ticket counter areas, gates, ground equipment or anything else the public sees into the new look. That is consistent with NW's history of being inconsistent. Good job NWA management on another classic fumble- it figures coming from Minnesota!
Motech722 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 211 posts, RR: 3 Reply 10, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9529 times:
The new Northwest livery is certainly one of the sharpest flying in the skies today. It's always interesting to watch a company reinvent itself. I know many people who are disgusted that they have done away with the old logo, and maybe it is just me, but the new logo still has the essence of the old one. When looking at the old and new logos...
...it seems to me that all NWA really did was take away the "N" portion of the old logo and increase the size. I know that some people don't like that the new logo points to the Northeast when looking at the planes' right side, but it is simply a mirror image of the logo, making the plane look very sharp.
A few days ago there was a thread on here about why the US flag appears "backwards" on aircraft. The reason is because if you fly it, then the stars are always in the front, hence on one side it looks "backwards" but it is just the mirror image, like what NWA has done with their paint scheme.
Just like other airlines have done in the past few years, NWA has adopted to putting their name on the side of the plane in large letters, but what makes this scheme so unique is that they primarily use the "nwa" while incorporating "Northwest Airlines" underneath. A very cool design (whereas Airlines like America West and Frontier have the name plastered on the side of the plane alone).
All said, Northwest has done a very good job reinventing itself. BAGSMASHER, you bring up an interesting point that NWA is not revamping their ticket counters yet, but I'm sure they will in time. I remember when AWA began repainting their aircraft, it took time to upgrade their counters to the new scheme. It is definitely not something an airline can do overnight.
TWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 53 Reply 11, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9502 times:
>>That is consistent with NW's history of being inconsistent. Good job NWA management on another classic fumble- it figures coming from Minnesota!<<
Well that's a completely ignorant comment if I've ever read one.
On the contrary, NW's branding has traditionally been extremely consistent. All signage, counters, ground equipment, planes, ALL THE SAME.
So they're going to gradually phase this rebranding in... what the hell does that have to do with being headquartered in Minnesota???
Let's think about some of the present and past competition before we speak out of our butt, shall we?...
Delta: Need I say any more?
United: The titles and livery on their planes hasn't matched any other titles/promotional items/etc. for years.
TWA: To the very end, not all of its aircraft were in the same livery
Southwest: Are all nearly 400 planes in the new "Canyon Blue" livery yet? And how long ago did that process start?
Rebranding is a huge, expensive undertaking, and takes time. Northwest did a fantastic job last time around, and they've started out nicely this time. Everything eventually will be rebranded... just because they don't have a defined timeline for all the ancillary items (ticket counters, etc.) has nothing to do with the airline being based in Minnesota.
SCRAMJET From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 99 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9465 times:
In response to "Now you're flying backwards", I'd just like to say that the compass on both sides of the plane points forward.
It's sort of like the backwards US flag on the right side of an aircraft.
If you look at the back of a USD20 bill, the flag on the White House is flying BACKWARDS! GASP! Is that un-patriotic? No, it's depends on what side of the flying flag you're looking at.
GSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2745 posts, RR: 2 Reply 13, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 9396 times:
I'm flying NW's new A330 transatlantic in December. I hope the service and everything else about the airline follows through on this new "image", which I like very much. I have a hard time believing that US airlines can change, though....
EGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12426 posts, RR: 40 Reply 14, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 9369 times:
I've liked the c/s from the start, despite the cynics in the original thread about it, I still think it looks great, especially as you say on the A319, but on most (except maybe the 757) it looks really good..
Ladevale From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9258 times:
I almost agree with you.
But, without any hard facts as to what the actual uptake is among the so-called class of "savvy business travelers," I remain skeptical about how well this advertising campaign or any other will do in repositioning Northwest in the marketplace.
My own initial impressions of the campaign based on a few commercials and ads I've seen: Yes the look is very contemporary and cutting edge. But it is also quite cool and at least in one commercial I looked at the whole setting appeared to be CGI-generated, and not in a good way.
As for the content of the campaign, it is really just covering the basics, what the airline does best. That's a good thing to be doing at difficult financial times like this. Emphasize what you do best.
Here is where my skepticism over the campaign comes in. Let's say the real "saavy" business traveler already has a good grasp of what each airline does well. In that case, this commercial only serves to remind him of what Northwest does well, but it doesn't give him any further incentive to fly Northwest or to try Northwest, especially if he already knows that some of the other airlines also offer some of the same things like kiosks, e-tickets, etc.
Compare that effect to the one produced by the AA ad about what you can do with your AAdvantage Frequent Flyer miles. Here we see real faces saying where they can go with their AAdvantage miles. Again, this add may just be covering the basics. But, it also makes an implicit promise of some surplus value that accrues to those who fly American. (Hey Martha, did you know we can save up our miles to go to Rio?). This appeal is effective across demographic lines. It could be directed at the vacation flyer who hasn't thought much about his AAdvantage account balance, but is now planning a trip. It could also be directed at the spouse of the Frequent Flyer who is sitting at home alone while her husband is on a business trip. It is a reminder to all of these people of the value of flying American.
More sckepticism: Given the success of JetBlue's marketing campaign and that of Southwest before them ("You are now free to fly around the country."), I thought that most advertising agencies would be wary of launching stylized image campaigns like this one, at least in the airline sector. Why, you ask? Because it is not what is working. What is working is what JetBlue and Southwest are doing? In general, their campaigns talk to their customers in a very folksy and from time to time witty and cynical way. It is worth pointing out as well that the basis for that cynicism and wit is sometimes the customer service record of the network carriers. Against that backdrop, it is hard for such a stylized campaign like Northwest's not to be greeted by the everyday person (business travelers included) with some degree of cynicism. (Just how many people have sons who have an interest in watercolors that leads to a trip to MOMA. It is an urbane and elitist scenario that most Americans, even the elites, will great with some cynicism.)
Again, the basis for comparison here is AA's current advertising campaign. Talking a page out of the LCC advertising handbook, AA has real people talking face to face to the camera about what flying on American means to them. You can tell they are in an airport and you can see one or two images of the side of a plane. But, the stylistic emphasis remains on the testimonial experience of catching up with someone and asking them for their opinion on the fly. While we are on the subject, it cannot be ignored that the slogan pays homage to the "I buy American" campaign, which tried to get Americans to buy US made products. It was a brilliant creative move to parrot that slogan at at time when Americans are still basking in their post 9/11 solidarity.
Of course, Northwest was not starting out from the same place as AA. There is nothing about the current or former Northwest brand that was classic. So, they couldn't assume that there were things that the American consumer already knew about them. They may have been trying to create a brand new brand from scratch. If that is the case, I can see why they ended up with a campaign fitting their purpose, if not the actual mode and tenor of the times.
IndustrialPate From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9124 times:
I like the new style, however it will go out of style as quickly as the brown, orange, and yellow USAir livery.
Tell that to American Airlines. NW's colors are very similar, except you can't polish an Airbus easily... thus they decided to paint it.
That is consistent with NW's history of being inconsistent.
Actually, NW has a history of being consistant -- that's why there's no IFE, meals are served from a cart, etc.
SNBA319 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2003, 298 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9084 times:
About the branding; with such a large company serving so many airports it is not hard to imagine that rebranding all your representing stations top-down calls for a heck of an organisation but also huge amounts of money and bureaucratic negotiations at the airports etc. So obviously this will take quite a while before this is all turned over. Don't expect this to be like repainting planes and you're finished.
The real time-consuming effort is now being put into practice. I really don't think that their new corporate branding will be reduced to the livery and website...
Trvlr From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4430 posts, RR: 24 Reply 22, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 8985 times:
In reference to "Now You're Flying Backwards":
In the previous Northwest livery, the compass points in the right direction, whichever side of the aircraft it was on. There is no denying that half of NW aircraft are better suited for "Northeast Airlines" than Northwest.
The American flag, on the other hand, is commonly viewed from all sides. One never looks at a compass from behind.
To be fair, this discrepancy is purely aesthetic, and will not in any way create confusion among the key business traveler. But aesthetically it still is a major, even laughable gaff, and I am surprised that Northwest did not put more effort into correcting it.