The American Airlines rebranding was incredibly expensive. And while it’s true that the new composite aircraft they’ve ordered need painting rather than brushed metal, painting all the aircraft anew – not to mention changing all the signage, even making new napkins and updating websites, was a huge undertaking.
I’d suspect it didn’t help them on net to sell a single additional ticket, or a ticket they would have otherwise sold but at a higher price.
Here’s the concept:
“‘Travelling well’ will be a core part of the brand refresh” reveals Dane Cheng, Cathay Pacific’s Director of Sales & Marketing.
“We see Cathay Pacific as global brand which is not just about the airline but about the lifestyle, about travelling well and travelling in style and being well looked after,” Cheng tells Australian Business Traveller.
But what does this mean in practice?
[T]he launch of an online “retail travel platform” in early November through which Cathay Pacific will sell “a range of premium travel products” Cheng says. “Not just airfares but hotels, car hire, the whole journey, which fits into ‘travel well’.”
They’re going to be an online travel agency selling this like hotels, cars, and other travel-related experiences. Kind of like Expedia. And kind of like United CEO Dick Ferris renaming the company ‘Allegis’ in 1987 and trying to transform the company into a travel cross-selling entity with its owned hotel and car companies. That experiment lasted about 15 months before Ferris was gone and the company was again called ‘United’. (At various points, Westin, Hilton, and Hertz were United subsidiaries — so it’s interesting to see Hertz again in such close partnership with United, while Westin’s parent is hooked up with Delta and Hilton without an exclusive airline dance partner.)
I have to imagine the marketing consultants that came up with this idea cost a lot of money.
Which is why the old ideas (which may well be incrementally valuable) get packaged and explained as the airline’s “Asian-ness.”
“We’re very proud of our Asian roots and we have our cabin attendants from most of the Asian countries, and Asia is very famous for hospitality and service standards, so the whole brand proposition retains a lot of this Asian-ness.”
Airlines need to stop paying for things like this and spend on their inflight product and capital investments instead.
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