Article on United branding (or lack thereof)

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Infinite1K, Feb 23, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    A thoughtful article from Ellen Sluder and Neil Wieloch featured in TheStreet on why branding is important and the new United didn't do a very good job of handling it with the merger.

    For Post-Merger Takeoff, a Logo Needs Lift
     
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  2. HeathrowGuy
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    The article is worthless, CO's font was NOT used. And it downplays the fact that United lacked a consistent brand identity for years prior to the merger.

    #ThankTheGoodLawdTheTulipIsDead
     
  3. johnmontfx

    johnmontfx Active Member

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    The article is pretty worthless, but the launch of the new United brand identity did use the Continental font. Thankfully, it was later changed. That image they used in the article was from the launch -- those of us that fly know that isn't the "real" logo.

    And HeathrowGuy, with this tag: #ThankTheGoodLawdTheTulipIsDead, I'll take what you have to say about design and identity with a moon-sized grain of salt. ;););) I jest, of course -- seriously....I'm just having a laugh. And I loved your last post in the 787 thread, btw. There is obviously a ton of personal esthetic that comes with liking or not liking design.

    But I will say that in the design profession, the Saul Bass designed United tulip logo is very often held up as an example of outstanding design. That and his other iconic logo designs are simply incredible. Not to mention his title designs such as North by Northwest (my personal fave he did)

    But now I'm way off topic....
     
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  4. Infinite1K
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    I agree the old United wasn't very fast in rolling out their updated branding, that does not mean they didn't
    have a consistent brand.

    But the whole article is wrong cause they got the font wrong? :rolleyes:
     
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  5. rggale
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    Another thing to note is that all 1000 airplanes were not repainted and won't be repainted for the purpose of the merger. On the subsidiary-Continental aircraft, the word "Continental" was painted over, and replaced with the "UNITED" title. Far cheaper than repainting the whole aircraft. While a new livery would have been nice, I believe it was a prudent move to maintain the same color scheme on half of the fleet, creating a unified brand at nearly half the price of repainting the entire fleet.
     
  6. Flyer1976
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    At the new United, Marketing is not in charge... The beancounters are!
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Jeff S. is a lawyer, not an accountant.
     
  8. Infinite1K
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    I think you just re-enforced the point that the authors were making.
     
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  9. 2wheels

    2wheels Silver Member

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    Say what? BA and AA are rivals? ;)
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Yes and no. It is very easy to claim that the decisions made are "bad branding." It is much harder to quantify the results of such a decision. It seems rather unlikely that the RoI on spending several million more in paint would be sufficient, even if that is "better branding" in this context.

    The "branding" argument only works when it also results in a positive RoI. If you're just spending money to be better branded without the RoI then it is a foolish decision, even if some folks think it is prettier one way or the other.
     
  11. Scottrick
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    Even an idealist like me can appreciate some pragmatism.
     
  12. Infinite1K
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    Branding is more than just paint on a plane.
     
  13. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    painting unnecessarily is a huge waste of money IMO. I would appreciate a better in flight product with that money.
     
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  14. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    At the risk of opening a FT thread wound, special meals in J and F would be a good place to spend it.
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Of course it is. But when responding to the claim that the cost of the branding shouldn't be considered versus the quality of the branding I figured there was no harm in pointing out the flaws in that argument.
     
  16. gobluetwo
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    I'm not familiar with Saul Bass, so looked him up. Ironically, it seems he also designed the old Continental logo!
    [​IMG]
    http://www.fastcompany.com/1638794/...ental-logo-flying-a-little-too-close-together

    Maybe they could've gone with this instead :D
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Infinite1K
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    And I'm sure the same rationale played out when the new United decided to have two different brands for their business class cabin?
     
  18. HeathrowGuy
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    No, it also ignores relatively recent brand muddling moves such as the birth and death of Ted, with the shifts of mission in between that led to all sorts of confusion and frustration, especially for the frequent travelers UA covets.
     
  19. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    Can we please not rehash this debate from FT? The livery is the livery and that is that.
     
  20. ssullivan
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    Preach it.
     
  21. HeathrowGuy
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    Indeed. The dear respected Supreme Leader has declared United's future to be Global in nature. Thank you for the moment of re-education, colpuck.
     
  22. Hartmann
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    I think some of the current marketing stinks (beyond the paint jobs). The signage that says things like "You're going to need a bigger map", etc. are just as bad as the old UA "sit further from your feet" campaign. I'm hoping the new marketing team and company decide to go a different and better route.
     
  23. Infinite1K
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    Ted and United Shuttle were more of business initiatives aimed at competing with LCC than branding moves.

    And if you think Ted caused confusion and frustration, you don't think the different business class designations isn't gonna cause confusion?
     
  24. Infinite1K
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    Isn't the bigger map campaign one of the deliverables of the new marketing team?
     
  25. SFOtoORD

    SFOtoORD Silver Member

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    I look at it this way: if you assume that Jeff Smisek strategy of "United name, Continental livery" can't be undone, then I'd actually say they've done a half decent job from there forward. The United fleet will all be in the same livery in a few months, they'll have consistently branded airports, consistent ads and a unified product set (i.e. credit cards, premium svcs, etc). The downside is that the ads don't have nearly the panache of some of the sUA ads, but there is still time to fix it.
     

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