coolian2
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:43 pm

I loved the BA World Tails designs and wish they'd survived. Maybe just one or two of everything and then a mix of English (Chelsea Rose), Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish tails to complete the rest.

I think the only people who hated it was that moron Thatcher and anyone who thinks she didn't ruin Britain.
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777klm
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:04 pm

What about Aeroflot? From the boring dull white-blue Soviet livery and the winged hammer and sickle as the predominant feature of the brand to the silver livery and the russian flag as mean feature of the brand (I know the winged hammer and sickle is still there). The perception of the brand in my opinion has changed a lot.
Another example might be S7.
I think here in the Netherlands Transavia HV is a good example. From a charter airline in the 60's to a well know brand in the Dutch holiday market in the 80's and 90's to the LCC arm of AF/KL today.
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TWA302
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Re:

Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:40 pm

ahj2000 wrote:
ValuJet was one of the largest turnarounds too. It went from crappy and unsafe to AirTran, a fighter against Delta.



Was wonder how long it would take before someone brought up J7. After the 592 crash and the subsequent uncovering of the sub-par mx and corner cutting/illegal procedures, it had to be done. And they did it VERY well.

I bet if you took a poll of FL customers between 2001 and 2014, 90% plus would have had no clue the airline was re-branded.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:46 pm

FlyCaledonian wrote:
oldannyboy wrote:
I am thinking that the circa 1984 BA rebranding was pretty massive.. it went from being the stale old "British" to a new, highly polished, privatized, highly recognizable, very business-oriented "British Airways".. The new Landor livery was very striking, and it was accompanied by big changes.. a new Business Class, new lounges, different service levels, new uniforms etc... More or less around the same time lots of new planes arrived (732s and 757s) to substitute the old faithful Tridents. That in my book was one big makeover.

This I think is an example of where the whole brand was changed. BA was said to stand for "Bloody Awful", the airline was in many senses still just BOAC and BEA bolted together under the "British" brand.

The Landor livery, the Speedwing, use of the crest - this was a visual interpretation of BA becoming classy, professional, raising its game and setting new standards. It was why upon privatisation it became very profitable. It invested in new aircraft. It is why it could very much claim to be the "World's Favourite Airline", in many ways an icon of 1980s Britain - back on the up after the perception of being the sick man of Europe in the 1970s and lacking a role in the world post-Empire.

I'd argue that the whole "World Tails" rebranding in 1997 was part of a bigger effort to turn BA into a global airline. It was still the "World's Favourite Airline" but it was also ambitious and hungry. It had franchise carriers in Scandinavia and South Africa; it had major investments in Deutsche BA (Germany) and Air Liberte (France). The Landor brand wasn't seen to stand for a global airline group that was also looking to form a virtual airline with AA across the North Atlantic; that owned 25% of QF; and that was a founder member of oneworld when the alliances were in their infancy and it was thought this was the way to create global carriers. That vision could be quickly said to unravel as the losses mounted at Deutsche BA and Air Liberte as a combination of a LH/AF fightback and the rise of LCC competition hit home and the AA JV went into the deep freeze for a decade. So BA retrenched back to the UK, even pulling away from franchise carriers aside from Sun-Air in Scandinavia and Comair in South Africa.

I'll leave others to say why the "World Tails" rebrand failed as planned, but my simple take is that BA and/or the agency misunderstood that actually the Britishness of BA is what many liked and diluting that was confusing to many.

So in short - Landor stood for a staid state company becoming a lean dynamic professional privately owned airline. World Tails was meant to stand for a global airline but it stalled before that transition was completed, then was redefined to what what we have today without achieving anywhere near the impact of the 1984 rebrand.


Absolutely perfect post, craftily worded, and rich in meaning BRman :-)
 
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:50 pm

I
think here in the Netherlands Transavia HV is a good example. From a charter airline in the 60's to a well know brand in the Dutch holiday market in the 80's and 90's to the LCC arm of AF/KL today
.[/quote]

I agree with you on Transavia, a big make-over indeed... but not in a good way... I think they've somehow trashed the brand value with the LCC mutation .. They had a splendid livery by the way which was ditched for a ghastly patch of horrid rings... I really have to wonder why PR people and design companies have to come up with such hideous, tacky, cheap-looking, fast-food-esque schemes...
 
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:07 pm

The current BA livery is basically an updated Negus version.
 
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:25 pm

A major consideration, based on your provided definitions of brand and branding, should go to the revolution/reformation from AirPacific to Fiji Airways.

The shift, in brand was simply avant-garde.

Moving away from the rather generic "Air Pacific" title, the carrier chose to much better announce, focus and solidify their brand - and the national carrier of Fiji. The branding change (massive change in color scheme - to a now unforgettable Masi symbol), coupled with a much more intuitive passenger experience (that focuses much more on Fijian culture, cuisine and presenting that in a premium, hotel-inspired experience in premium classes on board).

From an ethos perspective - this was rather revolutionary, as perhaps expanding the 'Air Pacific' brand might, sophomoricly, would have been cheaper and perhaps more effective at capturing 'Pacific' traffic (and allow the carrier to expand as connecting carrier on their Trans-Pacific services). Retiring the older 747s and moving towards newer A330s - moved the passenger experience (in every cabin) forward by a decade, as it did with the airline's profitability and capabilities. With less need to fill as many seats (on the larger, more expensive 747s, i.e. take on more connecting traffic) the airline reset its goals back to Fiji, and fit profitably to manage that goal. It seems that they tried, and did not succeed, and moved to this - a smartly intelligent strategy, that was as well executed, as it was planned.

The celebration of culture, the boldly clean branding, the effect of a premium experience, and the move in brand to one that more clearly and efficiently defines itself; avant-garde.

The same 'rebrand' method has been transplanted around neighboring Polynesia - and was a strong signaling that, greater display and pride in local identity would and could be well received by passengers (and even, compellingly, at a premium). Apply that to a carrier, such as HA - which has perhaps most prominently (apart from NZ) displayed their Polynesian culture (Hawaiian culture) proudly for years, but also required an update?
HA applied essentially the same 'brand-update' method, creating the brilliant/vibrant/stunning "Mahalo" color schemes, recently displayed their updated Business Class product, recently announced new uniforms (by a Hawaiian designer, and much more in keeping with a "Hawaiian" attitude/tastes), and too is transitioning to newer, more capable Airbus models (and searching for new routes, accordingly).

These brands perhaps, matured, with cultural (and overall national 'brand') awareness. Now, they are banking on those - in an efficient, beautiful, modern and capable way - providing to perhaps what they always did before (hoping to attract the 'premium' passengers wishing for a truly immersive premium experience) - but staking their claims in a dynamically changing market (where they are increasingly challenged by LCCs at the lower end and the massive network carriers with their massive clouts and reaches to populations).
 
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:08 pm

777klm wrote:
What about Aeroflot? From the boring dull white-blue Soviet livery and the winged hammer and sickle as the predominant feature of the brand to the silver livery and the russian flag as mean feature of the brand (I know the winged hammer and sickle is still there). The perception of the brand in my opinion has changed a lot.
Another example might be S7.
I think here in the Netherlands Transavia HV is a good example. From a charter airline in the 60's to a well know brand in the Dutch holiday market in the 80's and 90's to the LCC arm of AF/KL today.


This is a great point. Any of the post-communist flag carriers had their work cut out for them to modernize their fleets and their brands. I'd say Vietnam Airlines did a great job at that too. LOT did a good job from what I can tell without changing too much of its visual identity. Others, like TAROM and Malev, appear to be less successful.
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:14 pm

CF-CPI wrote:
Braniff 'End of the Plain Plane' 1965, with introduction of the pastel colors.


I agree completely, Braniff's End of the Plain Plane in 1965 is the most sweeping airline brand overhaul that I have ever seen. Braniff changed everything (repainted ground equipment, new flight and ground crew uniforms (including plastic helmets for flight attendants), new logos, radical new paint schemes, bold new designs in terminals and gate areas, ticketing stock, etc.).

http://www.braniffpages.com/1965/1965.html
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ardian
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:26 am

Interesting topic, as I'm very into the world of branding, design and marketing.

A short post, I'm going to read the rest of this topic tomorrow. But from the top of my head, my favourite example of a complete brand overhaul is Garuda, with its Quantum Leap program. Who would ever thought 10 years ago that Garuda is almost in the same league nowadays as SQ or CX. From an airline with a shady safety reputation towards an airline that received many awards for their inflight product
 
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:13 am

i'm thinking about Braniff's rebranding around 1965 with the 'End of the Plain Plane' campaign. It appears this was a wholesale rebrand of the company from a Middle-of-America carrier to an international airline with flair. BN boasted it's multi-colored fleet (turquoise, ochre, and lemon, to name a few), seven different designs inside the plane with Herman Miller fabrics, and the fact you could fly their airline seven times and never fly the same color airplane twice. Curious when the later rebrand to Flying Colors and the Ultra look took place.
 
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:36 am

Surprised nobody has brought up Silver Airways, which is effectively the rebirth of the old Gulfstream International Airlines.
 
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:30 pm

VC10er wrote:
....


VC10er
Can you explain a bit more what you consider "branding" and "the brand"?

I received a series of customer feedback requests from CX over the last few weeks relating to branding. I replied none of them because I don't understand what they want to do and what feedback they want from me. The latest one asked me which brands I like and why. It was a completely open ended question. My answer as an ordinary customer is "no idea", but if you look at my spending pattern there are probably a few preferred brands and they appeal to me for some reason but I don't know why specifically.

So the question they asked me is effectively "what do you want us to be" to which my answer is "don't know, maybe better and cheaper than anyone else?".

So is branding more important to the customer to tell you what a company stands for, or is it more important to the company itself to show everyone within the company what is expected from them?

And where is the line between branding and old fashioned sales and marketing?[/quote]

AOLOGIES FOR DISAPPEARING FOR A FEW DAYS: THE HOLIDAYS AND WORK JUST ATE ALL MY TIME AND ENGERY!

Dear AngMoh,

There certainly is some grey area around the difference between "BRAND" and "BRANDING"...mostly because a great "BRANDING" job does visually, verbally (and in some cases environmentally, e.g; designed space/seats, should eventually blur the lines. The "BRAND AND IT'S BRANDING" should be aligned. Imagine if SPIRIT had rebranded using the new Etihad livery vs the yellow taxi look. It would have been a total disconnect...the lowest end of service and brand behavior that intentionally doesn't provide any frills, with a livery that says ultra luxury? Imagine how confusing that would be for the flier? While I loath the SPIRIT yellow taxi branding, it is appropriate for them. (but it's not a matter of taste, it's a form of advertising)

A great branding job perfectly reflects how the company acts and delivers it's unique experience. I never flew Etihad (and want to very badly) but if the service is luxurious and flawless with an impressive spacious seat, delicious food, attentive service with class, as well as enveloping one in the culture of the UAE...then it has basically "earned" that luxurious BRANDING.

I have a couple of questions for you because I am not 100% clear...do you work for Cathay? And in what is your role?

Branding is NOT more important to the consumer in the same way that seat comfort or price or service is. Branding is like a doggy whistle for humans. People see branding and it sends multiple subliminal messages that acts like a promise...it says what to expect. Often branding can influence a customer to prefer or like a brand, but that happens less in the airline industry as it does in Perfume, Chocolate and spirits (like a beautiful bottle of vodka or whiskey with a great name. Example: ABSOLUT or GREY GOOSE vodka (this may come as a surprise to many) constantly looses to SMIRNOFF in blind taste tests for flavor, fragrance and finish...but the names and package designs (the bottles) for ABSOLUT and GREY GOOSE which is their BRANDING, creates brand perceptions and then preference...leading to people being very happy to pay a lot more for a vodka that is not as good as SMIRNOFF!!! We are all susceptible to being very swayed by BRANDING and when I am hired to do a branding design project, my job is to help my client's brand send those "doggy whistles" to their desired consumer and deliver the desired messages and perceptions that create preference and lead to purchase over their competition.

One brand that I am in love with is MOLTON BROWN, the British luxury soap brand. Why? I don't know, partially it is because I love it's simple beautiful (branding), it comes from England and the products have the BEST fragrances in the world for body wash. I am willing to pay $30 usd for a bottle of MOLTON BROWN, that $5 usd for a supermarket brand. Yet, both probably work just as well in the shower. That is a case where the lines between BRAND and BRANDING are blurred, yes, I believe MOLTON BROWN is a better product, but is it really worth so much more?

Back to our favorite thing: airplanes and airlines: If I buy a ticket in Business Class on Cathay from JFK to HK, I have many BIG expectations of excellence. Flawless service, an amazingly comfortable and modern seat, great food and entertainment, advanced and tech friendly all while being STYLISH with Asian flair, that is the CATHAY BRAND to me. I expect every person at Cathay I interact with to live and breath this and live up to my very high expectations. The Brush-Wing identity, colors and industrial "design" of the seats, cabin, lounge design... down to the logo on the flatscreen TV is the the BRANDING, and embodies EVERYTHING mentioned first. When my dear friend Richard Ford created the original BRUSH-WING, and livery, the color scheme, every detail he designed he did it with great intent. The Brush-Wing was designed "to represent the modernity on the new Cathay with a strong nod to the Asian heritage via the brush stroke and bring it to flight" and "the teal with a small accent of red was meant to create disruption in the airline category and the hand drawn type delivered on classical luxury"..IMHO, he did a perfect job. Today, it is difficult to disconnect the BRAND from it's BRANDING.

A BRAND and it's BRANDING are extremely important to humans and the companies themselves. Just look at how broken hearted people still are about PAN AM, or VARIG, or the UNITED tulip! It's a rational exercise to create the right branding for a brand, but in the end, it's ALL emotional. PAN AM & VARIG absolutely sucked in their final few years, but me and many others were besides ourselves with grief when they died. And UNITED, and airline that was never REALLY generated that much love, just look at how many folks were and are wrecked when the "tulip" was thrown out! That is proof of the power of BRANDING..done well, it does eventually come to be the brand itself in people's minds.

Does that help answer your question?[/quote]
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:25 pm

dennypayne wrote:
superjeff wrote:
OzarkD9S wrote:
Some past re-brandings I thought were well done:

1. TWA from the red stripes 70's branding to the 90's rebirth of the twin globes which I thought was brilliant. However, I thought the stripes going up the tail on the MD-80s and 717's looked awkward, it certainly looked better on the non-T-tails. But they also rolled out Trans World One and Trans World Q and were really making a difference in their operations. Not enough time unfortunately.

2. Ozark from the late 60's sorta swoop on the tail with the swallows following the tail edge to the four stripe and square logo on the tail. Much needed improvement.

3. Air California to AirCal and their graduating cheatline leading to the tail. Classy.

4. Northwest from the old Northwest Orient scheme to the bowling shoe livery with the "NW" compass on the tail. Classic.

5. National from the mid-60's stylized "N" scheme to the Sun King livery. They really did turn an airline into Florida. Oh, and the "Fly Me" campaign was genius, if a bit sexist for a while.

6. Trans Texas to Texas International, I didn't care for the interim scheme but once they put the star on the tail...a winner.

A few I didn't care for:

1. Air Florida when they went from orange to blue. Orange screamed Florida, the blue and green...meh.

2. Western from the red and white swizzle stick to that awful Bud Light/shadow livery. Yuck.

3. SAS when they lost the viking longboat look.


And don't forget one that somebody else posted above: the Granddaddy of them all: Braniff going back to 1965 with "The end of the Plain Plain" (colorful airplanes, designer uniforms, etc.).


You guys are still missing OP's point. His question isn't about livery changes, but about wholesale transformation of the entire public perception of the airline, of which livery is just a part. Were any of these livery changes accompanied by differences in business model, focus, hard/soft product, etc? I'm thinking Braniff possibly but I never got to fly them unfortunately.



Three actually were (all old carriers, though): National's change from "The Airline of the Stars" to "We turned Florida into an Airline" (the "Fly me, I'm [insert girl's name here] campaign was something different. They changed the entire image of the airline. Texas International's change from the old "Trans Texas Airways (not-so-fondly remembered as Tinker Toy and Tree Top if you lived in their market areas) made the airline seem much bigger and their inflight product also improved, from primarily DC3's and Convair 240's/600's to DC9's, and, of course, the most important of these, Braniff, which became a whole different product compared to its very staid image as Braniff Airways under Charles Beard and before him, Tom Braniff, to the End of the Plain Plane of 1965.
 
citationjet
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:19 pm

CF-CPI wrote:
Braniff 'End of the Plain Plane' 1965, with introduction of the pastel colors.


Braniff's End of the Plain Plane program in 1965 was definitely the most sweeping airline brand overhaul I have ever seen. Most of the examples people are listing here are merely livery changes to the exterior of the aircraft.
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:38 pm

To me one of the most significant "re-brands" of the last few decades wasn't a visual one: It was turning around KE's image of an airline everyone was afraid to fly with into a massive global airline.
 
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:18 pm

Byrdluvs747 wrote:
Wouldn't the rebranding at AA be larger than UA's? They changed the logo completely, and not only did they have to paint all of the AA planes (minus the MD80s), but repaint the US aircraft as well. Then there's all the gates/ticket counters at both AA & US hubs/spokes.

I think that is confusing "brand" with "branding". Certainly, AA's garish new tail is a change of branding, but the brand - the basic image of the airline - remains the same as always.

Compare that to DL, who went from being a regional, mostly-domestic carrier prior to bankruptcy, then emerged as a major international carrier upon emerging - augmented later with the addition of NW and its Asian markets.

UA is not necessarily changing the look of its planes, but it is completely redoing its image with an emphasis on more comfort (Polaris), better facilities (the clubs), and a different approach to its markets (particularly in Asia, where its NRT hub is being being dismantled in favor of LH and ULH flying from the USA).

AA's passengers can see a new color scheme, but the basic services remain the same. Dl's passengers - and, hopefully, UA's passengers in the future - see a different "feel", and entirely different experience.

That is the difference in changing a brand, or merely modifying the branding.
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alfa164
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:23 pm

citationjet wrote:
CF-CPI wrote:
Braniff 'End of the Plain Plane' 1965, with introduction of the pastel colors.

I agree completely, Braniff's End of the Plain Plane in 1965 is the most sweeping airline brand overhaul that I have ever seen. Braniff changed everything (repainted ground equipment, new flight and ground crew uniforms (including plastic helmets for flight attendants), new logos, radical new paint schemes, bold new designs in terminals and gate areas, ticketing stock, etc.).
http://www.braniffpages.com/1965/1965.html

Good example, because they not only changed their branding with the lively colors, but took a formerly staid and boring airline and made it hip and cool (just an aside: was Braniff the Virgin of the 60's?) At the same time, they went through a massive expansion in international routes (which was, unfortunately, the ultimate cause of their downfall) and made themselves a recognized international brand.
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:29 pm

alfa164 wrote:
Compare that to DL, who went from being a regional, mostly-domestic carrier prior to bankruptcy, then emerged as a major international carrier upon emerging - augmented later with the addition of NW and its Asian markets.


Delta was far from a "regional, mostly-domestic carrier" prior to bankruptcy. It is true that Delta derived the majority of its revenue from domestic traffic prior to bankruptcy - but so did AA and United - and so do all three still do this day. But well prior to its bankruptcy, Delta was quite a global brand, with a particularly strong presence across the Atlantic. It is true that Delta's brand penetration in Asia in particular was fairly weak in the late 1990s and early 2000s before the bankruptcy and Northwest merger, but overall Delta was hardly a "regional" carrier by any stretch of the imagination.
 
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:54 pm

commavia wrote:
alfa164 wrote:
Compare that to DL, who went from being a regional, mostly-domestic carrier prior to bankruptcy, then emerged as a major international carrier upon emerging - augmented later with the addition of NW and its Asian markets.

Delta was far from a "regional, mostly-domestic carrier" prior to bankruptcy. It is true that Delta derived the majority of its revenue from domestic traffic prior to bankruptcy - but so did AA and United - and so do all three still do this day. But well prior to its bankruptcy, Delta was quite a global brand, with a particularly strong presence across the Atlantic. It is true that Delta's brand penetration in Asia in particular was fairly weak in the late 1990s and early 2000s before the bankruptcy and Northwest merger, but overall Delta was hardly a "regional" carrier by any stretch of the imagination.

I know that age is creeping up on me, but I can't recall a plethora of European routes in the years prior to bankruptcy. Perhaps someone can remember (or find a route map; I looked, but didn't locate on online) comparing DL's Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific operations prior to 2005 and after bankruptcy. I would wager the operations look quite different.

Regardless, it is clear DL overwent a complete "brand" overhaul - as opposed to a "branding" overhaul. It wasn't just paint.
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:44 am

alfa164

You realize that all of your points apply to AA as well for UA you say:
UA is not necessarily changing the look of its planes -AA is, and I think going from the retro eAAgle to the new Flight Symbol and the graphite planes makes a difference. It screams more modern. UA looks like Continental, a defunct airline.
but it is completely redoing its image with an emphasis on
1) more comfort (Polaris), - AA is going from 2-3-2 ironing board business class to 1-2-1 SuperDiamond/Cirrus seats, with increased soft product across all cabins. Not to mention they are adding a fourth/fifth cabin, adding an extra comfort option for longhaul, which United has not
2)Better facilities (the clubs)- American is doing a ton with the Flagship lounge and has plans for a majority of Admiral's Clubs as well.
3) and a different approach to its markets (particularly in Asia, where its NRT hub is being being dismantled in favor of LH and ULH flying from the USA). AA also has had a big change in route structures, even regarding Asia, as of late. Have you seen the LAX buildup? The addition of more Asia from DFW and ORD?
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:28 am

ahj2000 wrote:
alfa164

You realize that all of your points apply to AA as well for UA you say:
UA is not necessarily changing the look of its planes -AA is, and I think going from the retro eAAgle to the new Flight Symbol and the graphite planes makes a difference. It screams more modern. UA looks like Continental, a defunct airline.
but it is completely redoing its image with an emphasis on
1) more comfort (Polaris), - AA is going from 2-3-2 ironing board business class to 1-2-1 SuperDiamond/Cirrus seats, with increased soft product across all cabins. Not to mention they are adding a fourth/fifth cabin, adding an extra comfort option for longhaul, which United has not
2)Better facilities (the clubs)- American is doing a ton with the Flagship lounge and has plans for a majority of Admiral's Clubs as well.
3) and a different approach to its markets (particularly in Asia, where its NRT hub is being being dismantled in favor of LH and ULH flying from the USA). AA also has had a big change in route structures, even regarding Asia, as of late. Have you seen the LAX buildup? The addition of more Asia from DFW and ORD?

I understand those changes at AA, and while AA partisans have something to be proud of, it is hardly a real change in Brand Image - the almost undefinable image an airline has or the "feel" a person has when flying an airline.

Every airline makes improvements - which (except for the atrocious livery) AA is trying to make - but incremental improvements and a few additional flights to Asia do not alone constitute a "Brand Overhaul" - and that is what the OP was asking about.
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:16 am

sevenair wrote:
No other flag carrier is expected to take on the identity of others and turn its back on the market it is meant to represent. I know a.net is rife with British haters. But imagine if Qantas, South African or Air France all had their unique styles synonymous with the country that the serve just whitewashed. It's easy for the self loathers and hate-a-brits to make us out to be narrow minded nationalists but no other country would stand for it. Why should we. I do not miss the world tails.


Ive not seen any British hate. I think maybe some are sensitive to the issue maybe. The BA effort was just the wrong time And not what this tread is about.
 
grbauc
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:37 am

oldannyboy wrote:
FlyCaledonian wrote:
oldannyboy wrote:
I am thinking that the circa 1984 BA rebranding was pretty massive.. it went from being the stale old "British" to a new, highly polished, privatized, highly recognizable, very business-oriented "British Airways".. The new Landor livery was very striking, and it was accompanied by big changes.. a new Business Class, new lounges, different service levels, new uniforms etc... More or less around the same time lots of new planes arrived (732s and 757s) to substitute the old faithful Tridents. That in my book was one big makeover.

This I think is an example of where the whole brand was changed. BA was said to stand for "Bloody Awful", the airline was in many senses still just BOAC and BEA bolted together under the "British" brand.

The Landor livery, the Speedwing, use of the crest - this was a visual interpretation of BA becoming classy, professional, raising its game and setting new standards. It was why upon privatisation it became very profitable. It invested in new aircraft. It is why it could very much claim to be the "World's Favourite Airline", in many ways an icon of 1980s Britain - back on the up after the perception of being the sick man of Europe in the 1970s and lacking a role in the world post-Empire.

I'd argue that the whole "World Tails" rebranding in 1997 was part of a bigger effort to turn BA into a global airline. It was still the "World's Favourite Airline" but it was also ambitious and hungry. It had franchise carriers in Scandinavia and South Africa; it had major investments in Deutsche BA (Germany) and Air Liberte (France). The Landor brand wasn't seen to stand for a global airline group that was also looking to form a virtual airline with AA across the North Atlantic; that owned 25% of QF; and that was a founder member of oneworld when the alliances were in their infancy and it was thought this was the way to create global carriers. That vision could be quickly said to unravel as the losses mounted at Deutsche BA and Air Liberte as a combination of a LH/AF fightback and the rise of LCC competition hit home and the AA JV went into the deep freeze for a decade. So BA retrenched back to the UK, even pulling away from franchise carriers aside from Sun-Air in Scandinavia and Comair in South Africa.

I'll leave others to say why the "World Tails" rebrand failed as planned, but my simple take is that BA and/or the agency misunderstood that actually the Britishness of BA is what many liked and diluting that was confusing to many.

So in short - Landor stood for a staid state company becoming a lean dynamic professional privately owned airline. World Tails was meant to stand for a global airline but it stalled before that transition was completed, then was redefined to what what we have today without achieving anywhere near the impact of the 1984 rebrand.


Absolutely perfect post, craftily worded, and rich in meaning BRman :-)



I agree spot on.
 
grbauc
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:48 am

alfa164 wrote:
Byrdluvs747 wrote:
Wouldn't the rebranding at AA be larger than UA's? They changed the logo completely, and not only did they have to paint all of the AA planes (minus the MD80s), but repaint the US aircraft as well. Then there's all the gates/ticket counters at both AA & US hubs/spokes.

I think that is confusing "brand" with "branding". Certainly, AA's garish new tail is a change of branding, but the brand - the basic image of the airline - remains the same as always.

Compare that to DL, who went from being a regional, mostly-domestic carrier prior to bankruptcy, then emerged as a major international carrier upon emerging - augmented later with the addition of NW and its Asian markets.

UA is not necessarily changing the look of its planes, but it is completely redoing its image with an emphasis on more comfort (Polaris), better facilities (the clubs), and a different approach to its markets (particularly in Asia, where its NRT hub is being being dismantled in favor of LH and ULH flying from the USA).

AA's passengers can see a new color scheme, but the basic services remain the same. Dl's passengers - and, hopefully, UA's passengers in the future - see a different "feel", and entirely different experience.

That is the difference in changing a brand, or merely modifying the branding.


Oh boy good job turning this good discussion in to a my airlines rebrand is better then yours.. : (
 
alfa164
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:06 am

grbauc wrote:
alfa164 wrote:
Byrdluvs747 wrote:
Wouldn't the rebranding at AA be larger than UA's? They changed the logo completely, and not only did they have to paint all of the AA planes (minus the MD80s), but repaint the US aircraft as well. Then there's all the gates/ticket counters at both AA & US hubs/spokes.

I think that is confusing "brand" with "branding". Certainly, AA's garish new tail is a change of branding, but the brand - the basic image of the airline - remains the same as always.
Compare that to DL, who went from being a regional, mostly-domestic carrier prior to bankruptcy, then emerged as a major international carrier upon emerging - augmented later with the addition of NW and its Asian markets.
UA is not necessarily changing the look of its planes, but it is completely redoing its image with an emphasis on more comfort (Polaris), better facilities (the clubs), and a different approach to its markets (particularly in Asia, where its NRT hub is being being dismantled in favor of LH and ULH flying from the USA).
AA's passengers can see a new color scheme, but the basic services remain the same. Dl's passengers - and, hopefully, UA's passengers in the future - see a different "feel", and entirely different experience.
That is the difference in changing a brand, or merely modifying the branding.

Oh boy good job turning this good discussion in to a my airlines rebrand is better then yours.. : (

That depends on what you consider to be a "rebrand" rather than just "rebranding". It seems a lot of people here just don't get the distinction.
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vatveng
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:14 am

VC10er, this has been a fascinating thread to read. As someone who works in a very brand-conscious (and branding-conscious) business - I put your commercials on TV - the whole "Brand" vs. "Branding" thing rings very true. To me, "Branding" is the face of the company, while "Brand" is the heart. Sometimes a small update to branding is all that is needed, but if you spend the money and effort on a complete top-to-bottom rebranding without changing a single thing about the overall customer experience or spending a penny on logistics to back up your bold vision, you're just putting lipstick on a pig. (There's a local grocery store chain that I always think of when I think of rebranding flops.)


Rajahdhani wrote:
Moving away from the rather generic "Air Pacific" title, the carrier chose to much better announce, focus and solidify their brand - and the national carrier of Fiji. The branding change (massive change in color scheme - to a now unforgettable Masi symbol), coupled with a much more intuitive passenger experience (that focuses much more on Fijian culture, cuisine and presenting that in a premium, hotel-inspired experience in premium classes on board).

[...]

The celebration of culture, the boldly clean branding, the effect of a premium experience, and the move in brand to one that more clearly and efficiently defines itself


This is what I love about so-called "regional" international airlines. Hawaiian (which you also mentioned), with their recent brand update, does a great job of celebrating the culture and natural beauty of the islands. It is at the very heart of both their brand and their branding. Icelandair to a smaller degree does the same thing with their onboard product, but as their mission is different from Hawaiian they don't go quite as far with it (with the exception of the one-off Hekla Aurora).

But I cite these two examples and quote Rajahdhani's to make another point: the AS/VX merger. I've seen it mentioned several times on a.net that as Alaska Airlines grows, they're going to have to jettison the Alaska identity. I don't think that's necessarily true. The state of Alaska has a lot in common with the state of Hawaii. Besides the obvious differences (climate), both have very strong local cultural identities that set them apart from the rest of the United States. And just as island-hopping flights are operationally different than a flight from, say, Charlotte to Pittsburgh, intra-Alaska flying is just as different (and many orders of magnitude more difficult). Intra-Hawaii and intra-Alaska flying are why these two airlines exist in the first place.

The word "Alaska" invokes certain feelings in Americans in the same way that "Hawaii" does, but different than "New York" or "Texas" or "Florida" do. True, all these states have their own identities and regional cultural differences, but not to the extent that the 49th and 50th states do. Which is part of why local-sounding airline names have mostly disappeared in the rest of the US. But AS and HA are fundamentally different. The state of Alaska, like Hawaii, is a brand unto itself. If AS were to abandon that, adopting a more generic American-sounding name or even a Seattle or PNW identity, they would have a massive uphill climb trying to build a new brand in the eyes of an increasingly less brand-loyal American public. They would be sacrificing their brand for the sake of branding. It would be a "sweeping brand overhaul" like VC10er started this thread to discuss, but one that would probably lead to them quickly getting swallowed up by AA, UA, DL or WN.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:59 am

Mini1000 wrote:
Iberia's brand overhaul has been quite dramatic -- beyond the branding itself, IB is transforming its public perception from a publicly owned dinosaur with horrendous customer service and antiquated product to something modern, friendly and efficient.


I was to say Iberia. In any case, IB is still a hit and miss. There are still some "unfriendly" crews and old planes that from time to time remind you of the old IB. But as today I don't think it is worse as, let's say, Lufthansa and definitely miles ahead of Air France.

I think the most important rebranding is definitely Ryanair (which don't forget is Europe's largest airline). From being the most detested carrier in Europe flying to remote airports, now they are definitely friendlier in many ways that some of their competitors (easyJet, Vueling, etc) and have been moving into main airports and main routes. While the graphic changes have not been that massive (apparently) just think a moment about their 2006 VS 2016 website. Their old website looked (on purpose) like some kind of dodgy Alibaba site, the new one looks efficient and serious. And since Ryanair is so popular, the average European is now aware of those changes.
 
commavia
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:45 pm

alfa164 wrote:
That depends on what you consider to be a "rebrand" rather than just "rebranding". It seems a lot of people here just don't get the distinction.


Or perhaps other people do "get" it, but just have a different perspective or opinion?

In my view, the "rebrand" ongoing at AA is actually far more "sweeping" and dramatic a rebrand than what is occurring at United because - in addition to "completely redoing its image with an emphasis on more comfort ... better facilities (the clubs), and a different approach to its markets" - AA is also, obviously, introducing entirely new branding. Don't get me wrong - I'm not knocking what United is doing at all. It is commendable - genuinely - that United is doing all of those things, but so is AA (and so did Delta a few years earlier than the other two). But as already said, United is doing all those things while still trying to shoehorn them into a basic brand identity that looks as old (>25 years) as it is. AA and Delta, however, started the sweeping overhauls of their products and services, including their onboard and ground offerings, pretty much concurrent with introducing entirely new brand identities.

vatveng wrote:
This is what I love about so-called "regional" international airlines. Hawaiian (which you also mentioned), with their recent brand update, does a great job of celebrating the culture and natural beauty of the islands. It is at the very heart of both their brand and their branding. Icelandair to a smaller degree does the same thing with their onboard product, but as their mission is different from Hawaiian they don't go quite as far with it (with the exception of the one-off Hekla Aurora).


Agree. Fiji Airways and Hawaiian are two of my favorite airline brands - both reflect the distinct culture heritage of their "core" home market, and both are beautiful. I recognize that this type of specialized, highly-regionally-defined branding obviously isn't possible for large, global brands that have to translate and resonate in hundreds if not thousands of places around the world. But it's perfect for specialized operators like Fiji or Hawaiian.

vatveng wrote:
I've seen it mentioned several times on a.net that as Alaska Airlines grows, they're going to have to jettison the Alaska identity. I don't think that's necessarily true. The state of Alaska has a lot in common with the state of Hawaii. Besides the obvious differences (climate), both have very strong local cultural identities that set them apart from the rest of the United States. And just as island-hopping flights are operationally different than a flight from, say, Charlotte to Pittsburgh, intra-Alaska flying is just as different (and many orders of magnitude more difficult). Intra-Hawaii and intra-Alaska flying are why these two airlines exist in the first place.


I agree, and I'd say it even more broadly than that. Alaska certainly need not jettison its identity as it grows - and the reason isn't even because of any perceived operational or cultural similarities with Hawaii, but instead the far simpler explanation that Alaska is a positively received brand. Alaska goes out of its way to embrace its regional identity, with Pacific Northwest microbrews and wines, etc. But even without that, many people like Alaska simply because it's a good airline. I'm one of them - I have never lived in Alaska or the Pacific Northwest, but Alaska is one of my favorite airlines because I've had consistently positive experiences with the carrier.

It is true that, over the course of history, there are few remaining examples of regionally-defined airline brand identities left in the U.S., but I think most of those airlines' ceasing to exist have less to do with any brand "regionalism" and instead with far larger factors. "Northwest" doesn't exist anymore - but that's not because the brand "Northwest" was too regional and limiting. Same with "Northeast," "Southern," "New York Air," etc. On the contrary, it appears that regionally-defined brands clearly don't have to be limiting factors for airlines' growth potential if the airline successfully defines and evolves the brand. Probably the most prominent example: "Southwest," ostensibly a regionally-defined brand but one that obviously has resonance and has now penetrated every region of the U.S. and is expanding into the near-abroad. I see absolutely no reason why Alaska can't continue to do the same.

Alaska has steadily grown its presence in the Mainland U.S. - particularly the west coast - for forty years. At this point, if the mere word "Alaska" was an inhibitor of growth outside that immediate locale, we'd know it. And it doesn't seem to have slowed Alaska down one bit.
 
citationjet
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Re: Sweeping Airline "Brand" Overhauls

Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:52 pm

I agree with dennpayne, most replies are missing the OP's point. Most examples given are merely livery changes, not sweeping transformations of the airline. I agree with superjeff that the most sweeping example that I can think of is Braniff's "The end of the plain plane" in 1965. This campaign changed everything associated with the airline; livery, uniforms, and color schemes associated with (ground equipment, gates, tickets, paperwork, advertising, etc).

http://www.braniffpages.com/1965/1965.html
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