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Old May 19, 05, 1:22 pm
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AZ Travels the World
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Originally Posted by Aspirapolvere
Continental used to be called "Cancellation" Airlines, so a turnaround can happen.
I think that's a good point. Remember the days of "America Worst?" There was a time no so long ago when the airline's reputation was horrible, though from a national perspective, certainly more limited in scope than US's, given the size of the respective companies.

US is a brand with strong familiarity and recognition across North America and some other parts of the world. If this deal is completed and the integration handled appropriately, it can bring about a re-birthing of US of the same magnitude of CO.

I think this is a key point: In branding, awareness and perception are two different things. It is often more practical to change a perception over time via improved performance and some good PR, than it is to start over. Creating awareness of a new brand is a much more expensive proposition. The costs associated with creating an entirely new brand and then gaining the requisite level of national recognition would be ridiculous for US/HP to undertake in the current environment. The overall value associated with the current brand isn't all that bad. The negative perceptions are associated with issues like bad service quality, lost baggage and timliness of operations. Those can be turned around over the course of a year. It's not as though the reputation is unsalvagable, as it might be following some serious safety issues, plane crashes or other problems that the public might consider insurmountable or not worth the risk of giving the company another shot.

While the US reputation is soiled now, people will give them some time to turn things around. And when they do, perceptions will improve, just as they did with CO, and as they have with HP. Assuming they do some things right and this happens, they'll once again have a solid reputation, combined with a well known, long established brand. That is why this route makes much more sense than starting over.
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