VC10er
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Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:11 am

Since I work at Landor I would say absolutely. Branding is one of the most powerful assets a company has, just look at what Ford did to get financing!

Please let's NOT turn this into A vs B thread.

IMO, Boeing are experts at branding, to the degree IMO the branding of their aircraft models makes a difference to fleet managers to CEO's to the average person. Starting 50 years ago with the 707, which set the branding / nomenclature convention of the 7X7 series. It peaked with the 747, the most famous airplane ever. If I stopped a person on the street and asked "quick, give me a name of an airplane?" a vast majority of people, anywhere, would say "747!". Yes, she was an astonishing airplane when she launched and captured the awe of millions. But the brand "747" (the asset) is probably worth billions. The same holds true to a lesser extent for a 737 or 767, but it says "Boeing" without even saying "Boeing".

I vividly recall the fanfare around the launch of the 777. Airlines made such a big deal when the got their first 777. United promoted it like crazy, UA even made their own logo for the 777 and all the FA's wore 777 pins. When VARIG got their first two, GRU and GIG were plastered with giant posters using their own 777 symbol.

The best so far is "Dreamliner" IMHO. It works for the Exec suite of airlines (look at how Smisek bangs on and on about the 787) and it works for the consumer. Boeing got "consumers" excited about this aircraft via branding it so well that I believe it has had a big impact on airline CEO's and fleet managers and people. The airlines keep the Dreamliner logo in their livery. "Dreamliner" hats off to the person that came up with such a powerful and effective name.

Airbus, IMHO has done a poor job from the start...(again IMHO) with the name "Airbus" a bus that flies? Everyone hates the bus- such a crowded and slow way to travel. I believe they again missed an opportunity to brand well their very, very fine airplanes. The A380 was a big game changer, a big leap in aviation, yet it was given such an unmemorable moniker of A380. Would something like "A400 flying Resort" (my bad name just to make a point) have made her a more exciting airplane? The excitement it deserves! One thing I find very interesting is that Lufthansa has made a much bigger deal over the 747-800 than they did over the A380?! Again, I believe a reinvented "747-800" has more traction with consumers than a hard to remember A380. (although clearly not enough or we would have seen more orders)

So, I put my opinion out there, now what is yours? I am interested in your opinion...does aircraft branding make a difference. Done well, does it sway airline purchase decisions? I know airlines have a "pure logical" approach as to what they need and what aircraft best meets their needs, but they are people too and IMHO believe they are swayed by sexy marketing as well. Not to the degree where they chuck mission specs out the window, but Back to Smisek (for one) is very "chuffed" (as the Brits say) about his new Dreamliner. Another question is how much does a "image driver" aircraft factor in at fleet planning?

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Birdwatching
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:25 am

I think the most important factors when deciding on an aircraft for the fleet are economics, price, safety, support and all those things. The name and branding are hardly worth a lot. If your theory was true, airlines would all buy 747s instead of 777s and so on. 747 the most valuable brand in the world? And only a handful of airlines are interested in the 747-8? Something doesn't add up. In my opinion, as long as you don't brand your product "Crashliner" or something like that, it has little relevance. As if the customer had a choice anyway. There are enough childish people here on this board who say "if it ain't Boeing then I'm not going", what do they do if there is a last minute equipment change? Stay behind? Pretty stupid imo.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Airbus, IMHO has done a poor job from the start...(again IMHO) with the name "Airbus" a bus that flies?

Airbus sounds like it's cheap and good value. In today's airline industry, probably a better selling point than Dreamliner.

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kc135topboom
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:30 am

I think branding does help with airline customer relations. EA painted a giant "757" on the tails of their B-757s, NH paints a giant "787" on the sides of their B-787s. Look how many airlines carry a smaller "Boeing 777-300ER", "Boeing 747", "Airbus A-320", etc. on the aft side panels.
 
VC10er
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:49 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 1):

I didn't say 747 is the most valuable brand name in the world. Just that its worth billions and has highest top of mind share among the gen pop. I would assume Apple or Google would be way ahead in terms of "in the world" or perhaps "Coca-Cola". I also aknowledged mission specs are more important. But IMHO branding your product well in any catagory works, and to a "degree" even aircraft models.
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VC10er
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:00 pm

Also I think the saying "if it ain't Boeing, I ain't going" is very cute. I think it's value is in the rhyme of "Boeing and Going". Perhaps before Airbus had established a good reputation it had some real meaning, but it is SO old.

Today I think people are fine on anything from the majors. And heck, tens of millions of passengers fly Embraer with no issue. It's a name that only sounds good in Portuguese (to my ear).
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dynamicsguy
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:04 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
The A380 was a big game changer, a big leap in aviation, yet it was given such an unmemorable moniker of A380

This is purely anecdotal, but at least with the public you may be right about the branding here. I work for Boeing, and when I mention this to almost anyone without an interest in engineering they will mention the A380 and ask whether I worked on it. But very very few actually will mention it by name, and more often than not they don't even know that there's another company building airliners which isn't Boeing. There's certainly plenty of awareness about the product, but the brand hasn't sunk in.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Again, I believe a reinvented "747-800" has more traction with consumers than a hard to remember A380.

The branding can't be that good, since it's the 747-8 and not the 747-800.  
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:23 pm

Quoting dynamicsguy (Reply 5):

Oops, my bad about the 800!

I do think the masses know of the giant double decker but given it's unworthy branding people only know of it but can't recall it. A380 is just not sticky. I am really surprised that people don't know that their are 2 major aircraft companies.

Do your friends know of the 787 Dreamliner? And if so, know what makes it different?
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VC10er
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:30 pm

Quoting dynamicsguy (Reply 5):

What do you do at Boeing? I'm curious, are there internal programs for employees to help them rationally and emotionally engadge with the Boeing corp brand and Boeing products?
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CXfirst
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:50 pm

Quoting dynamicsguy (Reply 5):
There's certainly plenty of awareness about the product, but the brand hasn't sunk in.

But in this case, I would argue the product is the brand rather than the producer.

People might not be interested in flying Airbus A380, but are interested in flying the A380, and "A380" is the name that is being advertised.

Secondly, if a passenger has a good experience on the A380, they will recognize all the brands that start with "A3**", so advertising the plane as A380 could be better for the rest of their planes. People see A320 or A330 and link it to the A380. That might not have been the case if it was the "Flying Resort" or similar.

Furthermore, the A380 brings attention from simply being the largest airplane in the world. People think, "Wow what is that plane" and learn the name A380. Boeing on the other hand have a less spectacular airplane (to the general public), it is a regular sized tube with wings, while most wouldn't know about the advances it has brought forward. Therefore, when the plane itself would not turn heads like the A380 did, Boeing did well to advertise it through the name.

So, I would say both have branded their airplanes strongly, Airbus more easily as the plane practically branded itself, while Boeing have put the name "Dreamliner" out there.

-CXfirst
 
dynamicsguy
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:52 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 6):
Do your friends know of the 787 Dreamliner?

That's usually how this starts but maybe I don't help myself there. When I say that I work on the 787, they ask whether it's the big double-deck airplane. I don't usually use the "Dreamliner" name right away because I think it's a bit naff. They do often recognise the name, but not much more. They know nothing about the size, they know nothing about it being the new airplane, they know nothing about the composites. I should stress that this is the reaction from non-technical people.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 7):
What do you do at Boeing? I'm curious, are there internal programs for employees to help them rationally and emotionally engadge with the Boeing corp brand and Boeing products?

I work as an engineer in structures. There's not really anything about promoting Boeing externally in particular. There is a fair emphasis on reinforcing company values and ethics.
 
CXfirst
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:08 pm

Here's something interesting regarding branding.

If you go on the Emirates website and then go to their fleet section, you'll see:

Boeing 777-300ER
Boeing 777-300
Boeing 777-200LR
Boeing 777-200
Airbus A340-500
Airbus A340-300
Airbus A330-200

and

Emirates A380

Not "Airbus A380". That says it all when it comes to A380 branding. It is the aircraft airlines want to be associated with.

-CXfirst
 
VC10er
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:18 pm

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 8):

I agree with that. It's called the "halo effect" the A380 nomenclature will rub off on an A330 or A321. The 7x7 does the same. IMHO the 7x7 system is more catchy 737, 757, 767, 747, 777, 787 - it's simple, and has the benefit of 50 years. But I think any average person will mostly recall 747 over all others. Maybe even be able to ID a 747 due to its famous shape. Especially baby boomers who remember all the "Airport" movies  
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petertenthije
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:25 pm

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 8):
People might not be interested in flying Airbus A380, but are interested in flying the A380, and "A380" is the name that is being advertised.

Exactly. There are a lot of companies that put their product branding ahead of corporate branding.

For isntance, most people will know about Magnum and Cornetto icecream. But no one will say they want a "Ola Cornetto" or a "Ola Magnum", and let's not even get started on Unilever, the company that owns Ola. Most people will have heard about Unilever, but few people will actually realise just how much comes from them. Same for other large companies like Nestlé, or Henkel.
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COEWR787
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:04 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 11):
I agree with that. It's called the "halo effect" the A380 nomenclature will rub off on an A330 or A321. The 7x7 does the same. IMHO the 7x7 system is more catchy 737, 757, 767, 747, 777, 787 - it's simple, and has the benefit of 50 years. But I think any average person will mostly recall 747 over all others. Maybe even be able to ID a 747 due to its famous shape. Especially baby boomers who remember all the "Airport" movies

I agree. Aditionally, for the older baby boomers I think the introduction of the 707 was a more momentous and memorable event than the introduction of the 747. The fact that the 7x7 moniker ties together everything starting from the dawn of the jet age to the most current is definitely a positive for that set of branding.
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:14 pm

Quoting petertenthije (Reply 12):

Companies like Unilever, Nestlé, P&G, Diageo all allow their brands to lead and don't wish to build their corporate brands with consumers unless the corp entity brings positive equity to the consumer brand. Johnson & Johnson would be the exception as their name stands for trust and safety. Mostly the only time when the giant consumer products companies develop well defined corporate brands are for B2B and the investment community. With the exception of today's need for transparency, the Internet and consumers have forced behemoth companies to be better corp citizens.

It's different in passenger airliner branding. A & B are not FMCG companies. They sell "BIG ticket products. To the point made about Emirates website and fleet list, an airline will often boast about having the A380 or 787 to boost their brand image (United and the 787) but in the end, consumers will evaluate the airline first. United may have 50 787's, but without repairing their brand, the 787's won't help at all.
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breiz
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:29 pm

What's in a brand? Certainly what you imagined and wanted to convey, not necessarily what the others see and understand.
"747" is a catchy name, in English, 7-4-7. In my own language it is less catchy: seven hundred and forty seven.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
If I stopped a person on the street and asked "quick, give me a name of an airplane?" a vast majority of people, anywhere, would say "747!".


And it is right, but because the 747 has been around for quite a long time, and a lot of toys were made representing the 747. A380 has some catch-up to do.
By the way, many know the "Jumbo Jet" but have no clue if it is a Boeing, a Mercedes or what ever.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Airbus, IMHO has done a poor job from the start...(again IMHO) with the name "Airbus" a bus that flies?


That*s a typical US reaction, not a European one. Since you work at Landor, remember that we are all different and that for a brand to work, it has to relate to the local culture.
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tdscanuck
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:25 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 1):
747 the most valuable brand in the world?

Coca-cola is the most valuable in the world, by a long shot, but that wasn't the OP's point. He was just saying that the 747 brand has value (true) and that it's the most well recognized among airlines (almost certainly true).

It's not the only one though; Concorde still has a brand despite being retired for years.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 1):
Airbus sounds like it's cheap and good value. In today's airline industry, probably a better selling point than Dreamliner.

Branding is all about the customers' customers (the passengers)...they want safety and security, and maybe speed. It's the airlines that want value.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 7):
are there internal programs for employees to help them rationally and emotionally engadge with the Boeing corp brand and Boeing products?

They do exist but, like dynamics guy said, they're not particular internal. Boeing has been pushing the "One Boeing" brand for several years now (basically since McNearney took over) and most of that stuff is available inside and outside the company. The Boeing video production folks are terrific and are very good at maintaining consistent messaging/look/feel across the communication products. They have a pretty good youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/boeing

These are some of my favorites:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKMsR...EDECDF6&index=5&feature=plpp_video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kRVj...6FD3CF7&index=3&feature=plpp_video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzof3...6FD3CF7&index=4&feature=plpp_video

Tom.
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:38 pm

Quoting dynamicsguy (Reply 9):
I don't usually use the "Dreamliner" name right away because I think it's a bit naff.

Calling a 787 a "Dreamliner" seems like something ridiculously out of date. Every all-too-common disappointment in travel will invite mockery of the name.
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:12 pm

Some airlines have given silly titles to their aircraft range like 'Big Top' or 'Mega Top 'which means nothing to me, 'Luxuryliner' to AA aircraft which means nothing especially since it isn't luxury.

Airbus have been very sensible in their naming. This is an A320. This is an A321. There's logic. Boeing have gone for the name, 'Dreamliner'. What dream? If the ride isn't comfortable, like most economy classes, it's makes a mockery of the name and the branding is silly.

I'm a fan of the sensible naming approach.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:27 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 11):
Especially baby boomers who remember all the "Airport" movies

The first one featured the iconic B-707 (Airport), and was the most realistic of all the Airport movies, and there was also one that featured the Concorde. All the rest featured the famous B-747. People equated it to a strong airframe based on some of the sillyness of some Airport movies, like surviving a mid-air collision (Airport '75), and keeping the passengers alive after one sank in the ocean (Airport '77).

The one featuring the Concorde evading air to air missiles and F-4 fighters was probibly the dumbest plots of all the Airport movies (Airport '79).

[Edited 2012-09-30 09:34:00]
 
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neutrino
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:29 pm

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 8):
Furthermore, the A380 brings attention from simply being the largest airplane in the world.

The A380 is the largest airliner in the world, it is NOT the largest airplane in the world.
Just being pedantic  
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caribb
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:34 pm

I just spoke to a bank VP last night.. said he loved flying on the Dreamliner.. I said wow nice, which airline? He said Emirates.. I said Emirates isn't flying Dreamliners. He said: oh it was the big double decker thing.. I responded, ah the A380 yes. He said oh right,.. who makes the Dreamliner? I said Boeing.. he said ..and who makes the A380?..

Yes marketing seems to matter to the average person even if they are totally unaware...

[Edited 2012-09-30 09:38:04]
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:47 pm

Quoting babybus (Reply 18):
Airbus have been very sensible in their naming. This is an A320. This is an A321. There's logic.

What about the A-300-600ST "Bulgua"? The A-318 (and sometimes the A-319) is also known as the "Baby Bus".
 
OB1504
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:54 pm

Quoting babybus (Reply 18):
Some airlines have given silly titles to their aircraft range like 'Big Top' or 'Mega Top 'which means nothing to me, 'Luxuryliner' to AA aircraft which means nothing especially since it isn't luxury.

AA discontinued the use of the LuxuryLiner moniker nearly a decade ago for the exact reason you cite.

I'll agree that the A380 designation isn't as ingrained in the public consciousness as the 747. When people find out I'm a pilot, they ask if I want to fly the new double decker airplane, but not once has anyone asked for the A380 by name.
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:36 am

Quoting babybus (Reply 18):
Boeing have gone for the name, 'Dreamliner'. What dream?

Well, it's the first Boeing in a long time that was very explicitly designed to provide a better passenger experience than its predecessors (as the A380 was for Airbus). Whether that merits its own name is up for debate but, having actually flown them a lot, I certainly appreciate the effort that Boeing put in.

Tom.
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:17 am

I think that if you look at branding of types of planes, Lear did the best. People who know very little or nothing about planes will be near an airport and see a G-IV or a Challenger or Citation take off and think to themselves, "look at that Lear-jet." People see any type of business jet and to them its a Lear.
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BMI727
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:43 am

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
IMO, Boeing are experts at branding, to the degree IMO the branding of their aircraft models makes a difference to fleet managers to CEO's to the average person.

I don't think it makes any difference to fleet managers, since they are more concerned with other factors. And for the public, I think that it has more to do with ubiquity than branding. It was just that more often than not, if you were on a jetliner you were on a Boeing.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
I vividly recall the fanfare around the launch of the 777. Airlines made such a big deal when the got their first 777. United promoted it like crazy, UA even made their own logo for the 777 and all the FA's wore 777 pins. When VARIG got their first two, GRU and GIG were plastered with giant posters using their own 777 symbol.

Airlines have been doing the same thing well before that and it's continued until now.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Another question is how much does a "image driver" aircraft factor in at fleet planning?

Barely moves the needle, if that.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 14):
To the point made about Emirates website and fleet list, an airline will often boast about having the A380 or 787 to boost their brand image (United and the 787) but in the end,

That sort of thing has little to do with the plane itself and more to do with the virtue of having whatever is new. Nobody may know why the A380 or 787 is different from any other plane, and looking at them won't help, but the point is that the airline has the newest and therefore the best.

Quoting iFlyLOTs (Reply 25):
People who know very little or nothing about planes will be near an airport and see a G-IV or a Challenger or Citation take off and think to themselves, "look at that Lear-jet."

Gulfstream is notable because they are one of the few manufacturers to have an almost purely cosmetic feature to distinguish their designs in the oval windows. Most other unique features on aircraft are highly driven by practicality, but the shape of a window is largely not a huge deal. Size is, but you could use standard type windows, Gulfstream shaped, or Viscount shape and not lose or gain very much from an engineering standpoint. Gulfstream's elongated windows act almost like BMW's kidney grills or the Corvette's quad taillights.
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Type-Rated
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:40 am

Quoting caribb (Reply 21):
Yes marketing seems to matter to the average person even if they are totally unaware...

I think your average person flying today doesn't even notice how many engines are on an airplane, let alone who made it. To most, an airplane is an airplane and that's about it.

One time I asked a woman who recently came back from a trip what kind of aircraft they flew on. She said "Oh, I don't know. My husband takes care of those things." I asked her how many engines did it have. Her reply "Who pays attention to stuff like that? I certainly don't."
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:47 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
The one featuring the Concorde evading air to air missiles and F-4 fighters was probibly the dumbest plots of all the Airport movies (Airport '79).

LOL, settle down now. I am with you on that. Remember, it was pure entertainment for the masses. At least they used the same aircraft type for the interior and exterior shots...
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:21 am

It's obvious from airlines' and OEMs' actions that what the flying public think of the aircraft matters to them, even if only a little. If it did not matter, they would not waste time and money with the occasional advertisement about "fly our new 787!" or "Make a date with the DC-8!" (one of my favorite slogans).

Is Boeing better at it than Airbus? Maybe marginally. Certainly the name "Airbus" has always struck me as odd. Did they not run this past any English-speakers? It sounds ghastly. Their corporate logo is also really bland. It looks like a washing machine. Yes, I have to agree that Boeing's iconography is hands-down superior to Airbus's.



But as far as the softer branding (not graphic design), I think both do a very good job of marketing their aircraft. The A3-- says "Airbus" without saying "Airbus" much as "7X7" conjures "Boeing." They aren't American, and maybe their brand recognition is higher in Europe. They aren't as old as Boeing, either, so they don't have the equivalent of the 707 in their history. But all in all, they do a very good job of promoting their product.
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BMI727
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:41 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 29):
Yes, I have to agree that Boeing's iconography is hands-down superior to Airbus's.

Their iconography isn't even theirs. They swiped the logo from McDonnell Douglas in the merger, who swiped it from Douglas and it goes back to at least 1965 when it was on the DC-9 prototype. The color and the name in the middle has changed, but it's the same logo.

Boeing, on the other hand, went through a bunch of logos up until the merger with McDonnell Douglas.
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:18 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 1):
as long as you don't brand your product "Crashliner" or something like that, it has little relevance.

Worked fine that company from Southern California, you know, the one with the Death Cruiser series?   

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 10):

and

Emirates A380

Not "Airbus A380". That says it all when it comes to A380 branding. It is the aircraft airlines want to be associated with.

I'll bet they've probably financed about 70% of that thing by now. I think they've earned it, lol.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 14):
Johnson & Johnson would be the exception as their name stands for trust and safety.

I always forget, which Johnson is the trust & which is the safety?

Quoting babybus (Reply 18):

Airbus have been very sensible in their naming. This is an A320. This is an A321. There's logic.

Erm, one thing I never got... Their 1st models, the A300 & 310, showed a numerical procession that made sense, and left series nomenclature reserved for powerplant and mission capability. But when the the 320 series comes out, we switch to "20, 21, 19 & 18," mission capability comes off series number and goes onto model number, along with fuselage legnth. For the next generation twin aisles, we go back to delineating by way of the original series nomenclature, 330, 340, and introducing series deliniation by fuselage length and mission (342, 343, 332, 333, 345, 346), whereas the 300 & 310 used series for powerplant, but not for fuselage legnth. And then we have the A380's ridiculous leapfroging for the moment. To perfectly logical, it should be something like:

A300-200
A310-200
A320-200/300/400/500
A330-200/300
A340-200/300/400/500
A350-200

and of course the upcoming CFRP A360-200/300/400

Quoting neutrino (Reply 20):

The A380 is the largest airliner in the world, it is NOT the largest airplane in the world.
Just being pedantic

CX first will be right if they ever roll out the 389. Or as I would call it, "The A350-300",  
You Sir, are a very funny lady.
 
dynamicsguy
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:24 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
Their iconography isn't even theirs.

The MD part of the logo certainly, but you can't argue that the logo doesn't contain their iconography. The "BOEING" in stratotype font dates back to 1947.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
Boeing, on the other hand, went through a bunch of logos up until the merger with McDonnell Douglas

Really? Certainly true prior to the 1947 version, but they went 50 years with that one up to the merger. Source
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:35 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 27):
I think your average person flying today doesn't even notice how many engines are on an airplane, let alone who made it. To most, an airplane is an airplane and that's about it.

One time I asked a woman who recently came back from a trip what kind of aircraft they flew on. She said "Oh, I don't know. My husband takes care of those things." I asked her how many engines did it have. Her reply "Who pays attention to stuff like that? I certainly don't."

I totlly agree and I've had the exact same conversation with my friends and colleagues. the best they can do is identify the airline. Most don't know the aircraft, most don't know how many engines are on it or if on the wing or at the back of the plane, many can't even tell me if it had two ailes or one.... which kinda makes me wonder how observant my friends are and really why do I even bother asking... LOL

My point with the bank VP though is significant in my mind however. Here is a very intelligent successful human being who travels frequently and has unknowlingly bought into Boeing's branding to such a point he confuses an A380 with a 787 and is on top of it oblivious Airbus makes the A380. I kind of understand now why major airlines have over the years starting painting their aircraft in minimalist liveries.. they don't invest a whole lot in them but basically keep clean professional conservative lines, muted colours with an clear recognizable logo and slap your hands and off to Disneyland.. tie all that together with a slick overall branding in all their divisions that are visible to public and they can create something people identify with and want to associate themselves with. It's more about how it's presented to us and how we see ourselves being a part of it overall than what it really is.. the Dreamliner is a catch phrase people will remember and want to try.. wheather it's an A380 or 787 really isn't important apparently.. The "dream" of taking part in it is paramount

[Edited 2012-10-01 09:41:41]
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:44 pm

I agree with some of your points, and disagree with others. Boeing, IMHO, certainly picked a winner with the 7X7 designation, even if it came about by accident, and any literate person in the world would immediately associate the word "Boeing" with aircraft. It's an iconic name, and up there with all the leading brands of the world.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Airbus, IMHO has done a poor job from the start...(again IMHO) with the name "Airbus" a bus that flies?

A name loses any novelty value with time, particularly if it's a good product. If anyone starting a company selling top of the range gadgets, from tablets to smartphones, decided to call the company "Banana" they would probably be laughed out of court, and I'm sure senior executives would baulk at using such a name. Yet nobody thinks of fresh fruit or a green lifestyle when the buy an Apple product, even though, on another level, the name would conjure up similar images to a banana. Similarly, I don't even think of a bus when I see the word Airbus: I only think of planes. I agree with you however on the Airbus designations. They missed the boat, unfortunately, to give their line a more logical numerical series. It would have been much better IMHO to have the A320 series designated the A100 (for roughly the number of passengers). The larger aircraft would still be the A300, A330 and A340 series, and the A500 would have been PERFECT for the A380. (And yes, I do know how the original A300 designation came about, before anyone goes to the bother of explaining).

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
The best so far is "Dreamliner" IMHO

I disagree. Boeing have SUCH a strong product line with their 7X7 series that they don't need to add anything to it, particularly a name that can be twisted into a negative connotation such as "Nightmareliner" (as we've seen on here) if anyone has a bad experience flying on it.

As a couple of other people above have said, I really don't think the flying public have a clue about what sort of aircraft they fly on. When talking to people about trips abroad I often ask they what sort of plane they flew on. They usually have no idea. I narrow it down by asking the airline, and whether it had one or two aisles, and also the number and placement of engines (although this is becoming less relevant with the proliferation of underwing twins). Most times they can only tell me the number of aisles.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 26):
That sort of thing has little to do with the plane itself and more to do with the virtue of having whatever is new. Nobody may know why the A380 or 787 is different from any other plane, and looking at them won't help, but the point is that the airline has the newest and therefore the best.

True . . . until something goes wrong! I remember back in the early '70s the British travel company Clarksons, which used the magnificently coloured Court Line Tristars for their package holidays had ads running in newspapers with a picture of the plane and and "BE FIRST IN EUROPE TO FLY THE TRISTAR!" emblazoned across it (or something to that effect). Then came the Eastern crash in December '72, after which the ads were quickly dropped and replaced with very-obviously hastily composed ads, which, to no great surprise, never mentioned the aircraft at all . . .

Thanks for the interesting thread BTW.

[Edited 2012-10-01 09:47:36]
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:13 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
Their iconography isn't even theirs.

Well, it is now!

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 31):
Erm, one thing I never got... Their 1st models, the A300 & 310, showed a numerical procession that made sense, and left series nomenclature reserved for powerplant and mission capability. But when the the 320 series comes out, we switch to "20, 21, 19 & 18,"

Yes, but in that sense, Boeing is just as bad. With the 727, the -100 was the first (and smaller) aircraft and the -200 was the second and larger/more capable model. The 737 had the -100 and -200 with the 200 being more capable. The 747 followed suit with the -100/-200/-300/-400 indicating the generation and capabilities of the aircraft (although they were all the same linear size, leaving aside the upper deck). Even the 737 Classics had chronological numbering, not by size. The -300 was the mid-size introduced first, the -400 was bigger, introduced second, and the -500 was the small one introduced third.

Then with the 757, 767, and 777 they started with the -200, which made little sense. I think they wanted to leave room for a shrink, but that never worked out. And so now Boeing went from chronology to size. But then when these aircraft were upgraded, rather than calling the 77L/W the 777-400 and 777-500 (which would have made chronological sense) they had to start appending -LR and -ER to the end. But this is confusing because the 777-200ER uses different systems than the 777-300ER, which shares its systems with the 777-200LR. Not only that, but some models were only ever offered in -ER format, like the 764, which is actually the 767-400ER. The only reason you aren't confused is because you already know this; a layperson would have passed out long ago.  

And THEN... as if this wasn't bad enough, they dropped the -X00 from the model identifiers and went to -8, -9, and then to the awkward -10 for the 787, 747-8i (what's that lower-case letter doing there???), 73MAX and 77X series. OMG so confusing!

So Airbus's random throwing around of numbers is really the work of a bunch of amateurs. To REALLY foul up the numbers properly, you need to turn to the professionals in Seattle.  
-Doc Lightning-

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lightsaber
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:50 pm

I'm going to disagree on the branding *except* for the 747 and 'THE Airbus.' My non-aviation friends really couldn't tell you anything, except they thing a T-tail is old. The number that confuse an A320 with a 757 is amusing (and vice versa).

The only reason people know the A380 is they look out the T4 windows and point whenever one goes by. It appears *that* much larger than other aircraft, so people notice.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
I believe a reinvented "747-800" has more traction with consumers than a hard to remember A380. (although clearly not enough or we would have seen more orders)
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
The only reason you aren't confused is because you already know this; a layperson would have passed out long ago.

What is amusing is how much fun it is to follow the development even thought the numbers bore any non-aviation fan.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 34):
As a couple of other people above have said, I really don't think the flying public have a clue about what sort of aircraft they fly on. When talking to people about trips abroad I often ask they what sort of plane they flew on. They usually have no idea. I narrow it down by asking the airline, and whether it had one or two aisles, and also the number and placement of engines (although this is becoming less relevant with the proliferation of underwing twins). Most times they can only tell me the number of aisles.

So true. I have had people insist they flew a 777 when I knew it was either an A330 or a 767 (I help people buy their tickets). It is a regional thing. I know a few Europeans who commented on 'that Airbus was...' and I had to point out it was a 737 or 757.

Counting isles has been beyond some non-aviation fans even...

Quoting caribb (Reply 33):
I totlly agree and I've had the exact same conversation with my friends and colleagues. the best they can do is identify the airline. Most don't know the aircraft, most don't know how many engines are on it or if on the wing or at the back of the plane, many can't even tell me if it had two ailes or one.... which kinda makes me wonder how observant my friends are and really why do I even bother asking...

   So true. Most do a better job describing the flight attendants...  

One friend constantly mixes up CRJ-700s with Airbus aircraft! But then again, he is picked up by a woman almost every flight, so I wouldn't have cared about the aircraft either...

Lightsaber
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:05 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
DocLightning

Doc, you may have forgotten, but there was a B-747-500/-600/-700, but they never left the paper they were drawn on. They also had different lenght fuselarges, engines, and wings.

Both the B-727-200 and B-737-200 had a sub-model called the Advanced (written as Adv or ADV). The B-707 had the -100/-200/-300/-400 series, then jumped to the -700 model (as well as the B-707-020 which was renamed the B-720). The B-717 (KC-135) did have a -100 sub-model designation until the B-717-200 (MD-95) came along. Then there were plans for a new B-717-100 model as well as a B-717-300 model, but both were dropped in favor of the already in production B-737NG series. If this had happened the KC-135 model would have become a Boeing designation as well as a USAF one.
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:14 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 34):
It would have been much better IMHO to have the A320 series designated the A100 (for roughly the number of passengers).

Was it not the original intention for the A300 to carry 300 passengers? I thought that's how it got its designation. As in many such arbitrary things, inertia and tradition count more than logic.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 37):
Doc, you may have forgotten, but there was a B-747-500/-600/-700, but they never left the paper they were drawn on. They also had different lenght fuselarges, engines, and wings.

To nitpick, there almost was a -500/-600/-700. But "almost," as they say, only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. And, in the end, the -8i is basically the equivalent of the -600 or so.

The big problem with starting prefixes at -8 is that you run out of room to improve and expand without another branding switch.

So if there is ever a 787NG, what on earth are they going to call it? The -11/-12/-13?. The 787-8MAX? Wait!    The 787-NEO!   
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:03 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 38):
Was it not the original intention for the A300 to carry 300 passengers? I thought that's how it got its designation. As in many such arbitrary things, inertia and tradition count more than logic.

You're right Doc, of course, and by the time they shrunk it the designation had stuck. Pity they didn't rename it the A200, then used A100 for the A320 series and A300 for the A330/40 series.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
747-8i (what's that lower-case letter doing there???),

I may be wrong, but I think it's probably because people would call it a 747-eighty-one.
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:02 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 39):
I may be wrong, but I think it's probably because people would call it a 747-eighty-one.

Possibly. But it should have been 747-8 and 747-8-F.

OK, it REALLY should have been the 747-500 and -500-F. Why don't they listen to us in Seattle? It's *OBVIOUS* we know what we're doing better than they do!     
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:09 am

From a purely nostalgic point of view, today's aircraft branding pales in comparison to some from yesteryear:

Elizabethan
Comet
Electra
Vanguard
Viscount
Friendship
Fellowship
Caravelle
Mercure
Trident
Tristar
Otter
Twin Otter
Beaver
Buffalo
Heron
Rapide


And on and on. Whether the branding of such names were a detriment or not to their respective successes or lack thereof is up for debate. But for those "in the know", no numbers were needed. Sigh.
Next up: STL-OAK-RNO-LAS-ICT-STL
 
Viscount724
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:08 am

Quoting type-rated (Reply 27):
Quoting caribb (Reply 21):
Yes marketing seems to matter to the average person even if they are totally unaware...

I think your average person flying today doesn't even notice how many engines are on an airplane, let alone who made it. To most, an airplane is an airplane and that's about it.

Totally agree. A few people may say they want to fly on a certain aircraft type they may have heard about, but when it comes to making the purchase decision, they book the flight with the lowest fare, or the one that best suits their schedule.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
With the 727, the -100 was the first (and smaller) aircraft and the -200 was the second and larger/more capable model.

The 727 wasn't even referred to as the -100 originally. Note the early model numbers, e.g. UA's were 727-022s (not -122s) and AA's were 727-023s (not -123s). That wasn't the case for the 737 as both the -100 and -200 were launched and delivered simultaneously (the first 737-200 was delivered to UA one day after the first 737-100 went to LH).

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 41):
From a purely nostalgic point of view, today's aircraft branding pales in comparison to some from yesteryear:

Elizabethan
Comet
Electra
Vanguard
Viscount
Friendship
Fellowship
Caravelle
Mercure
Trident
Tristar
Otter
Twin Otter
Beaver
Buffalo
Heron
Rapide

Agreed. The average person finds it much easier to identify with something that has a name than random letters and numbers. A few others:

Britannia
Stratocruiser
Constellation
Starliner

I'll bet many people today can still recall that they flew on a Constellation or Stratocruiser in the 1950s, but had those names not been used, I doubt they would now be able to tell you that they flew on an L-749, L-1049 or B-377.

The same applies for cars. I think the car manufacturers are making a mistake using so many meaningless letters/numbers to identify their models rather than names which used to be much more common.
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:50 am

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 10):
Not "Airbus A380". That says it all when it comes to A380 branding. It is the aircraft airlines want to be associated with.

This is so smart. Emirates is appealing to the high end market, where service and prestige are so important. The Emirates A-380 captures the mystic of the aircraft and brands it with the Emirates perception for special amenities and service. I was in marketing for a U.S. airline many, many years ago and I remember our strategy of building a reputation for outstanding F/C service. The theory was that if we could get the boss to fly because of the service the employees who had to fly "Y" would follow. The strategy worked and the airline, Alaska still has a reputation for service today.

I have a friend who flew a QA A-380 last week and when I asked him what he thought he said, " Nothing special about the aircraft except to say it was big and crowded." He couldn't cite anything that would make him want to fly it again. He noted that next time he would fly a smaller aircraft. There was nothing about the service that differentiated it from other QA aircraft on similar length segments.

Ultimately, once the novelty wears off, even the best branding by Boeing or Airbus is no replacement for the perception of the airline. Ultimately, what you do with it will be more important than what it is.
 
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:26 am

Personally, I really fail to see why "747" or "737" is so much more brilliant than "A380" or "A320". If anything, the A tells folk its an Airbus without saying Airbus. I doubt outside of the industry, plane geeks & frequent flyers, the average person would immediately associate 7x7 with Boeing, particularly outside the USA. I would even venture to say in Europe people would name Airbus as a plane maker ahead of Boeing, I dont think there is much ignorance there the A380 is made by Airbus.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 29):
Certainly the name "Airbus" has always struck me as odd. Did they not run this past any English-speakers? It sounds ghastly

What else should they have called it? AerospatialeCasaFokkerHawkerDaimlerBelairbus? The original A300 wasnt much more than a bus in concept, a mid haul people mover. Many aircraft companies are named after their founder, as a consortium there can be no real winner on that front. Maybe the Leahy L360 has a nice ring to it moving forward 
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 29):
They aren't as old as Boeing, either, so they don't have the equivalent of the 707 in their history. But all in all, they do a very good job of promoting their product.

The A300 is their 707 and its already 40 years, which of course is half that of Boeing as you say. However, their legacy is is the Caravelle, Concorde, 1-11, Mercure, Trident, Comet etc etc but the average joe wont appreciate that.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 42):

I'll bet many people today can still recall that they flew on a Constellation or Stratocruiser in the 1950s, but had those names not been used, I doubt they would now be able to tell you that they flew on an L-749, L-1049 or B-377.

The same applies for cars. I think the car manufacturers are making a mistake using so many meaningless letters/numbers to identify their models rather than names which used to be much more common.

   A name really helps seal it into the history books and stick in the memory. I still hear older (British) people refer to the Dakota or Dak instead of DC3. At least the military for the most part keep the names alive.

However, I do think the XWB and MAX in particular are pretty ridiculous. Seems kind of akin to slapping an XR2i or GTI badge on a pretty average car along with a spoiler and furry dice to make it sound attractive somehow.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
747-8i (what's that lower-case letter doing there???),

Maybe they thought if they got Steve Jobs to name the plane it would automatically sell like every other i product...   
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:44 am

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 44):
What else should they have called it?

-SkyCorp/SkyCo (I like it; although it's a bit hokey   )
-Aerospatiale
-EA or EAe (European Aerospace)
-SkyShip (or at least call their models that)

But not Airbus!

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 44):
The A300 is their 707

The A300 was not the first major jet aircraft to be successful. The A300 was the 787 of its time. Very well-done, but it didn't exactly shrink the world by a factor of two like the 707 did.
-Doc Lightning-

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YVRLTN
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:10 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 45):
SkyCorp/SkyCo

C'mon, just as tacky  
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 45):
Aerospatiale

The Brits, Germans, Dutch, Spanish & Belgians probably didnt like that

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 45):
EA or EAe (European Aerospace)

BAe (soon to be formed) probably didnt like that

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 45):
SkyShip (or at least call their models that)

Airship Industries probaby didnt like that.

Hey I kinda agree with you, but it works. Maybe they could have come up with a funky acronym like EMBRAER did.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 45):
The A300 was not the first major jet aircraft to be successful. The A300 was the 787 of its time. Very well-done, but it didn't exactly shrink the world by a factor of two like the 707 did.

True, but it created a new niche and effectively created the landscape of large twins and ETOPS we see today (sadly for spotters & enthusiasts...) as the 600 & A310 did have transatlantic range, which led Boeing to do the 767 which has led to the amazingly successful 777 and A330 today, plus took out Lockheed from civilian aircraft manufacture and led to the demise of MDD in the process. I would say the A300 had a considerable impact.
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neutrino
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:43 am

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 44):
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
747-8i (what's that lower-case letter doing there???),

Maybe they thought if they got Steve Jobs to name the plane it would automatically sell like every other i product...   

If that's the case, then they got it backwards...should be i747-8 instead  
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 45):
Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 44):
What else should they have called it?

But not Airbus!

Its Airbus cos they want to be ahead of Boeing in the pecking order, alphabet wise   
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
masseybrown
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:13 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 45):
But not Airbus!

Initially, I was put off by the name because 1)buses are perhaps the least appealing intercity transport in the US and 2) Eastern Airlines, short of jets in the 1960s, operated dirt-cheap "Airbus" flights using clapped out DC-7's and Connies that operated at odd times often in the middle of the night.

"Airbus" to me meant cheap, slow, noisy, spartan, and inconvenient. Gradually, very gradually, I have gotten over these old associations. But I'm old; young people may not be put off by the name at all.
 
BMI727
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RE: Aircraft Branding: Does It Make A Difference?

Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:18 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 45):
-SkyCorp/SkyCo (I like it; although it's a bit hokey   )
-Aerospatiale
-EA or EAe (European Aerospace)
-SkyShip (or at least call their models that)

But not Airbus!

They should have just done what American companies have done and named it like a law firm. Called it Hawker Breguet Nord or something.
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