Branding ideas

Old Feb 28, 10, 9:42 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,653
Branding ideas

Thought branding might justify its own thread. It has come up here and there in various threads but it when I try to go back and find certain posts about it, it's hard to remember what thread comments were made in.

The abundance of bad potential names is amazing. Nothing regional or directional really fits, and most traditional names end up sounding like made-up airline names from movies. Patriotic or historic names like Liberty, Pioneer, or Republic sound stodgy and predictable. Anything with Link, Express, or Connect sounds like a regional. And most of the names I tried out to symbolize two airlines coming together didn’t work either. Fusion Air just begs the nickname Confusion Air. And Union Air, anybody?

After many options and much deliberation with the voices in my head, my recommendation for the unified brand is…


Flight


I think Flight is contemporary and unfettered; straightforward with clean simplicity.


Flight's Brand Image

Flight’s primary color would be orange, perhaps with blue and green accents. The aircraft would be white with billboard-style title “Flight” in dual case (no more screaming). Tails would be solid green for the Airbus and solid blue for Embraer aircraft. In keeping with trying to create a new, fresh brand, uniforms would include zero of the ubiquitous navy. Medium grays, dark taupes, whites, oranges. No Midwest blue nor Frontier greens in uniforms nor in the onboard environment whatsoever. Flight’s IATA code would be F9.


Flight's Rollout and Marketing

Transitional brands Flight Frontier and Flight Midwest could be used during the transition, with Flight in orange and Midwest and Frontier in blue or green. Marketing materials, advertisements, and the like would stress Flight more than the transitional brands. For example, the mast line on an advertisement might say “take Flight” in larger type, and the footer of the ad would have Flight Midwest and Flight Frontier.

A national marketing campaign to roll out Flight should be undertaken, however in the national push the former names would be much less emphasized than in local DEN/MKE/MCI marketing. If the transitional names are very short term, it might make sense to not roll out a broad advert program until the transitional names are on the way out. The national campaign would not be excessively heavy or long, and after that initial shot they'd return to primarily regional and targeted marketing. No sponsorship of the NFL nor TV ads during Lost. But something to introduce the brand to a broader audience.


Flight's Onboard Product

Dual seating on all aircraft except RJ (which is already in the works) for a flat per-segment upgrade fee.

Power ports on the E170 and larger.

Onboard food sales (cold), consistently provisioned and promoted onboard.

Complementary warm cookies (including the RJ’s…the ez-bake ovens aren’t that big of a burden and the warming does make a big difference).

Onboard wi-fi (E170 and larger) for a fee -- live TV (apparently deemed too heavy for the E-jets) would be removed from the Airbus.

Flight would contract with a third party for kiosk-offered hand held mobile video devices to be rented at the gate (not onboard).


Flight's Frequent Flyer Program -- Flight Club

Keep two tiers branded Ascent and Summit at 18 and 30 segment thresholds.

Two free bags for Summit, one free bag for Ascent

Free Stretch at booking for Summit, free Stretch as check-in for Ascent

FF partnership with Delta expanded to the entire airline, including the code share. Additional partnerships with airlines such as AirTran and Alaska could be pursued, but the Delta link is far more beneficial than other smaller partners.

Two-tier awards based on distance (short trips for 15,000 round trip).

New any-seat-any-flight award available for double miles.

Upgrade to Stretch available at booking for 2,500 miles.


Flight's Pricing / Ancillary Revenue

Bag fees remain at current levels

Stretch seating $25 for all segments

Any reservation, no matter where booked, can upgrade at any time to Stretch online.

Free advance seat assignments for all fares.

Multi-tiered “bundled” pricing which Frontier currently uses would be retired since it cannot be effectively sold through delivery channels other than the website. That's a competitive disadvantage for sales made through other means.

--------------------------------

Now that I've thought a lot about this, I'm really eager to see what they actually do. I just hope none of the awful names I thought of are picked. And while it won't be the end of the world if they go with Republic and a predictable red-white-and-blue livery, new branding is an opportunity to be fresh and forward-thinking. We shall see.

Last edited by knope2001; Feb 28, 10 at 9:51 pm
knope2001 is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 7:10 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sussex, WI
Programs: Marriott Platinum, Delta Silver Medallion, Fmr Midwest Miles Executive
Posts: 151
Awesome material Knope...We have all been talking about this for months and I realize that the situation is a bit different since the goal is to combine two brands, but can anything be learned from ValueJet's conversion to Airtran? I remember the crash in Florida, but was not following the industry that closely to really see the transition happen.
blucys is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 7:18 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: MKE
Programs: Midwest Miles, AirTran A+ Rewards
Posts: 1,445
Much better idea than "New Air" that started in a blog and a reporter for some newspaper went with it. It showed up in an article somewhere but I can't find it again. When I first heard your idea I crunched up my nose, but as I read on it made sense to me. I still don't understand why people are hung up on regional names for a national airline... Southwest does very well with their regional name.
flyYX is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 7:24 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA
Programs: United Mileage Plus
Posts: 1,154
Why not just keep the frontier label and drop the midwest label? Frontier is the larger airline.
Tim34 is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 7:24 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Programs: UA1K MM, LH Senator, HH Plat, Priority Club Gold, UA RCC, Global Entry
Posts: 263
Originally Posted by flyYX View Post
Southwest does very well with their regional name.
I agree - while Southwest started there, it should not be a limiting factor. I would agree with Knope and the detail above. The problem comes into play when a bunch of people need to justify their jobs and will pontificate for two months before coming up with something like "cattle car air" just because it has a catchy ring to it.
MKE 1K is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 7:33 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,800
Originally Posted by flyYX View Post
Much better idea than "New Air" that started in a blog and a reporter for some newspaper went with it. It showed up in an article somewhere but I can't find it again. When I first heard your idea I crunched up my nose, but as I read on it made sense to me. I still don't understand why people are hung up on regional names for a national airline... Southwest does very well with their regional name.
I highly doubt Republic has any plans whatsoever to use the name "New Air." It was thrown out their as a generic alternative to the Midwest/Frontier names in the customer surveys.

Before a name was agrred to, all of JetBlue's original business plans and investor materials listed the name of the new carrier as "New Air" as well.
BlueHorseShoe2000 is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 7:37 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,800
Originally Posted by knope2001 View Post
After many options and much deliberation with the voices in my head, my recommendation for the unified brand is…
LOL...should we be worried about you

The voices in your head have some pretty good ideas for a unified brand.
BlueHorseShoe2000 is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 8:16 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Programs: AS,UA
Posts: 590
If one of the brands were to have an accident before the name change do you think they would drop one of the names and do kind of a valuejet tatic? I really hope this does not happen but in the reality of it if something like this did happen i think this would be step they would take.
lebowski2222 is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 8:21 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 25
Let's be clear, Brian Bedford has no plans to change the name of either airline:

Michael Linenberg, Merrill Lynch:
(a) What's the update on the two brands?
(b) Whether you maintain them or some time frame for possible combination?

Brian Bedford:
(c) Well we will get to a unified brand.
(d) That's different than saying we're going to pick one or the other and keep one and lose one.
(e) We believe both Frontier and Midwest bring great brand value to us,
(f) and we need to work in a path of fusing these brands that retains as much customer loyalty as we can.
(g) But, as we told our employees and we told our most frequent flyer you know we're going to go out and talk to the people that actually using our product.
(h) So we've been in the process of doing some extensive marketing surveys and customer focus groups, and
(i) that process is starting to wrap up, probably be finished in the middle of March,
(j) at which point we're going to spend more time with our employees
(k) and make sure that they understand where we are going, and we're taking into consideration their thoughts and feelings in the process, but
(l) I still believe that as we get into the spring we'll announce our unified brand process and
(m) then it will be an execution process probably throughout the rest of the year.


Bedford has said this consistently yet many continue to speculate that there will be a single brand. It will not happen any time soon.

Knope, your single brand name is terrible, but I like most of the rest of your ideas. I have no opinion about AirFairs.

Planes might get repainted even while maintaining the two brands, it will be interesting to see if this is part of the plan. I have not heard reports that any of the Midwest Airbuses, Frontier E-jets, or Republic ERJs have been repainted. The obvious reason for this would be because a name for the airline hasn't been picked yet, but Bedford has never given any indication that this is the case, so I wish people would stop speculating about it.

BTW, I hear Bedford and a young Republic employee who has been instrumental in developing "the process" are flying down to a private Caribbean island to pitch the "process" to wealthy potential investors in Republic. The "process" should put the airline 3-4 years ahead of the competition. The "process" is undoubtedly worth a lot of money and the employee has been promised a big bonus. We'll have to wait and see how it all works out.
NoOneOfImportance is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 8:40 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Programs: WN A-List, Hertz 5*, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 3,601
Knope, I agree with Blue...

Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post

The voices in your head have some pretty good ideas for a unified brand.
I think that Republic should be paying you a consultant's fee for all of your excellent ideas and research!

This opens the door for some not so serious names, as well. How about Brew? This would recognize Colorado's and Milwaukee's common industry. A tagline could be Brew - flying high.
mke9499 is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 9:22 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,335
Originally Posted by mke9499 View Post
Knope, I agree with Blue...



I think that Republic should be paying you a consultant's fee for all of your excellent ideas and research!

This opens the door for some not so serious names, as well. How about Brew? This would recognize Colorado's and Milwaukee's common industry. A tagline could be Brew - flying high.
In MY head, I can already hear the jokes about drunk pilots.

I still like Heartland Airlines...We don't ignore flyover country.

I also think they could drum up some national media by doing a contest for flyers to submit possible new names. Then, have flyers vote on which one they like best, with a grand prize for the winner.
newsmanhoss is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 9:50 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,653
I'm not totally sold that there has to be a new brand, and perhaps something like the Alaska/Horizon dual branding will work. I've wondered as much for awhile, although I kept coming back to Alamo/National in my mind but didn't think of Alaska/Horizon until somebody here brought it up (blue?).

However...the more time that passes (and I'm not the most patient person in the world) the more I think that perhaps starting fresh is the right idea. Every day and event which passes just adds more negative baggage to the brands as they currently exist. What I spoke of as the "transition" names Flight Midwest and Flight Frontier could be used long term if they want a way to keep the brand names out there but work to a unified image. Short of doing something like this, there is simply no way to get past the "I booked a Midwest ticket but got a Frontier plane, so who knows who I'm even flying" issue. If they do ultimatly choose something where there is a unified brand name used in conjunction with Frontier and Midwest, I don't know if I like "Flight" as much. The beauty of Flight in my mind is the clean simplicity...Flight Frontier and Flight Midwest lose some of that simplicity, so maybe a different name.

Finally, Bedford's statement specifically said that going to a unified brand is "different than saying we're going to pick one or the other and keep one and lose one"...that's an accurate quote. However nowhere does he say that they won't change both names, just that they are not dropping one and keeping the other as a way to unify the brand. Everything said after that talked about how important the brand loyalty is and about fusing the brands, but nothing in any of that says the individual brands will stay as they are. The more I read it, the more I think he specifically dances around what the hame or names will be, only telling us that it won't be Midwest for all, nor Frontier for all.

That seems to leave the door wide open to replace both names with a single one, either in total or in part with sub-brands Frontier and Midwest.
knope2001 is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 9:52 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: MKE
Programs: Delta Skymiles, Frontier EarlyReturns Summit
Posts: 766
Originally Posted by NoOneOfImportance View Post
Bedford has said this consistently yet many continue to speculate that there will be a single brand. It will not happen any time soon.
When BB talks about unified brand he means the product. Anyone who's taken an introductory marketing class knows the brand is far more than just a name. They can easily keep both brand names while combining the actual product so that whether you get on an Airbus or an E190 you know what to expect. This is far more important than getting rid of one name or the other or both.
MikeFromMKE is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 10:32 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 25
Sorry, Mike, I disagree.

The whole point of a brand is to market a distinctive product, unless your brand is a "copycat" brand designed to coattail off another company's strong brand.

I don't see the benefit of maintaining two distinctive brands, which of which on the surface seem to have nothing in common, but then saying that's OK, because on the inside, they are all the same.

People are going to keep asking, well, if they are the same on the inside, why don't you just make the outside look the same so everyone knows they are the same on the inside?

"We believe both Frontier and Midwest bring great brand value to us."

I don't believe you can keep "brand value" by dropping both brands and replacing it with another one, and he clearly stated he was not going to drop just one and keep the other.

He refers to the airline as "Frontier Midwest". It is the only way I see of having a unified brand (on the outside) without actually dropping completely one or the other. The combined airline could fly all blue aircraft in the Midwest layout with Frontier animals on the tails. I can't say that this sounds like a great idea.

I think it is more likely that Bedford simply adds a "A Republic Airline" decal to the aircraft of both airlines, and keeps the paint otherwise the same. As time goes by, the Republic name is made more prominent. And then eventually both airlines become Republic, perhaps with the introduction of the CS300's, after both airlines customers get acclimated to the name, and industry analysts adjust to the fact that Republic is not just a regional contract flyer anymore.
NoOneOfImportance is offline  
Old Mar 1, 10, 6:59 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: MKE
Programs: Delta Skymiles, Frontier EarlyReturns Summit
Posts: 766
I'm not advocating 2 separate brands. I'm advocating 2 separate names where one is targeting a specific market. I just saw an example of this at Target: Axe and Dial have the exact same body scrubber for the exact same price the only difference is the colors and the logo. One targets teens and one targets men, but the costs to maintain both brands is minimal compared to the increase in sales.

I think it would make sense to have the Frontier livery but instead of FRONTIER on the side put MIDWEST, and then instead of the green primary color use the midwest blue for the seats and the accents. When you get on the plane it doesn't matter if it is an A320 or an E170 you know you are going to get fresh cookies and Miller beer or whatever they decide for the combined brand.
MikeFromMKE is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread