US Air should have been let go. It would have stabilized the industry much sooner had it been allowed to go into Ch 7.
You could say the same thing for America West (another 9/11 govt loan guarantee recipient) and United (a 3-time loser in the same program).http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5316334/ns/bu ... lrcQKhKiUk
Or Continental, who needed two bankruptcies and a strong economy they had no hand in creating to survive
And US Airways was Stephen Wolf’s doing. He wanted a more business like airline and the name change was supposed to reflect that. He also was madly in love with the color grey.
Often branding changes fall into 2 camps 1: Market Driven dynamics call for the need to rebrand. It could be triggered by consumer perception issues, a new more attractive competitor shows up (ala: JetBlue) or reputation has been sullied by poor service or other things. A suffering airline MUST change the fundamentals, and fix its core shortcomings; be they customer support and service issues, poor quality of hard products and lack of good route planning, etc. NORMALLY, those fundamentals must be addressed FIRST before a new livery (BRANDING CHANGE) is done. The BIGGEST MISTAKE is to signal change but indeed nothing has changed (that’s when the “lipstick on a pig” comments start flying on their own). A BRANDING CHANGE when the actual BRAND has not changed can kill a company quickly. It’s tantamount to a lie! That mistake happens most often when the NEW CEO wants to make “their mark” be seen right away. Therefore it’s an internal “thing” and the rebranding is not based on consumer insights.
Camp 2: The airline makes a huge commitment to change, or die. The competition has a serious leg up and overall consumer perceptions take a VERY LONG TIME to change (UA comes to mind)
A NEW vision, mission, and values are created and big investments are made.IMHO (UA launched their new livery a bit too soon. I think that had it been unveiled TODAY vs when they did, at least the chances of Premium Fliers would be experiencing true Polaris and lounges far more often as well as much improved customer care. Therefore a FRESH-LIVERY signals “We have changed”
USAir was a great name. But it did feel very domestic. However any name can be made to stand for anything “IF” a company fills that name with the right equity. “Apple” could have been a horrible name had Steve Jobs NOT have delivered such potent brand meaning. “USAir” executed in a very different way, could have become very prestigious had it not become only “America’s flying bus service”
Ergo: when launching international WB service, the current “brand essence” could not have stretched to complete with DL, AA and even UA (much less BA or AF or LH) - Wolf was obsessed with having an AF One (kind of image)
Many people at the time Called then “USscare” - but that was NOT the rationale behind moving to “Airways”
(Everyone was 100% wrong when Kentucky Fried [email protected]
changed to “KFC” when it was believed that they wanted to get rid of the word “Fried” out of their name. It was in response to 93% of consumers ALREADY were calling them “KFC”
The single thing that REALLY stuck in my craw was the totally incorrect “American Flag” icon. There must be a million ways to create a unique AMERICAN icon. A friend of mine did the Tommy Hilfiger logo. He would have done something AMAZING, UNIQUE & TIMELESS!