WSJ: UA/CO marketing strategy going forward

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by adambadam, Feb 27, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703933404576170393021650666.html

    My guess is this will be in print in Monday's paper.

    It is an interesting article though that talks about the next six or so months and how the new UA is planning on merging the two brands.

    Some highlights
    • New combined ad campaign will start this week on billboards and in Hemespheres
    • Will ramp up in March in NYC area
    • MLB Ballparks that UA/CO sponsors will be converted to new ads by the time the season starts
    • New branded UA website this summer (perhaps a whole website makeover?)
    • No more of the UA illustrations [​IMG]
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    And Rhapsody in Blue continues to be United's theme song:

    "But the combined company has chosen to retain United's theme song, George Gershwin's 1924 "Rhapsody in Blue," which has been in use since the mid-1970s, he said. It obviously wasn't a hard decision, given that Continental's globe is blue."
     
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  3. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    I hope a vast majority of visible promotion and marketing will include a picture of Jeff Smisek, if only to drive absolutely crazy a specific handful of people on MP and FT. :D
     
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  4. LAXNRT
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    LAXNRT Silver Member

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    Even after close to 2MM I love this when I get on a plane. It makes me feel at home.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Here's what the company told employees a few days ago:

     
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  6. seaflyguy
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    seaflyguy Silver Member

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    +1

    Long before it was UA's theme, "Rhapsody in Blue" felt to me like the instrumental piece that said "America" more than any other. Like a musical Carl Sandburg poem to the USA.
     
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  7. Renard
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    Renard Silver Member

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  8. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    The dropping of the illustrations makes me glad that I took advantage of the raid opportunities at the family day last year to get a whole bunch of the destination posters.
     
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  9. PhlyingRPh
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    PhlyingRPh Silver Member

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    Things are progressing nicely then.
     
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  10. I would say Debt is in First place at UA/CO and elsewhere.
    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/the-debt-dogs-of-airlines.4401/

    As a shareholder, I don't like the idea of the ballparks just yet.
    Advertising is necessary, but a name on a Stadium has little proof of an ROI compared to more traditional methods of attracting customers like great service and a competitive product.

    I know big spends before all the Union and labor issues are complete is the smartest path.
    I recall another airplane paint exercise (@ $40M) after UA purged many employees and they were not happy about it.
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Really? I would tend to disagree. Keeping customers may have more to do with the actual product, but name recognition is probably a solid 3rd place - way behind fare and schedule - in terms of attracting them.
     
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  12. nice to see the merger progress now get me CO meals on UA planes :)
     
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  13. You won't anyone in corporate management of an airline that doesn't think marketing and advertising is a survival need. Corporate America just needs to look at Microsoft and most any consumer product to establish that you don't need the best product to sell.
     
  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Any chance we could work in complete sentences here? I do not understand the first line there at all.

    As for the comparison with Microsoft, just as soon as another product is as ubiquitous and interchangeable with it as the airlines are you'll see that fixed. Of course, that's not going to happen any time soon, but you're comparing two VERY different things there. To the majority of passengers air travel is a commodity and schedule/price make the decision for them. Things like brand-loyalty come way later.
     
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  15. That happens sometimes, but obviously you are upset. My grammer is terrible and sometimes my keyboard skips. But more often I have found when someone points out mundane issues, it means they are angry they are possibly wrong. Maybe not understanding me well, I didn't take any Berkeley are Stanford courses in English, just other things :p But I do plan to take some English courses again :)

    I don't think you are wrong, but I don't think you are yet an Airline Industry analyst either, Neither am I.

    "commodity and schedule/price" I would say that its less so in the West and much more so in Asia and Africa. There is a stickiness to a product and a tool of this is a Loyalty program. (ever shop at Safeway ?)

    I don't find any analyst, Airline management or anyone else that doesn't think Marketing and Advertising can be marginalized. In most of the West, its often the most powerful part of the business. My marginal experience in this industry has shown me, it is very similar to most other consumer products. In fact, almost all University study in Aviation is the same as a typical MBA track. (Probably not good)

    I don't see that name recognition is an issue for UA/CO, especially with all the press from their merger and standard print advertising. So a ballpark could wait until next year or longer.

    I can tell you I am an avid follower and investor in the Airline Industry. Additionally, I helped found an airline that died. Tombstones often build some wisdom, even if I cannot spell it. I may not have the seat miles you do, but I look upon the industry in a different manner than most customers.

    The reason I don't signature my status or what I have done, is because I rather hear what people really are thinking (like yourself) without making it sound like I might know more.(In many cases I don't) One can learn from everyone.

    I am sorry if I appear to be taking you to the woodshed, because I value your thoughts.
    There seems to be occasion I am followed here by some people who do nothing but tell me how stupid and wrong I am. (just like FT) This more often reflects on being upset, misinformed or resistant other ideas. Don't let the Internet upset you :)
     
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  16. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Lighten up - just a verb missing; the meaning quite clear.
     
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  17. We did not disagree here at all. Didn't I make it clear I didn't think this Advertising spend was a bad idea ?
    Is this view as a customer or an industry employee ?
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Ummm....no, I'm not. Not really sure where you got that from, either. Frustrated that I couldn't understand what you were writing, perhaps, but certainly not upset.
    I disagree here.

    With the Continental name disappearing rapidly it is important for the combined company to be using their new name consistently, especially in places where they have spent significant amounts of money to ensure sponsorship deals. While I do not believe that the brand name nor loyalty are the prime drivers for booking trends, I do believe that if you have a company and you are marketing yourself then you should do it with a single and consistent image. Given that UA sent the following as part of the alert about the new ad campaign, I'd say that they see the need for consistency as well.
    The easy way to get things consistent is to go for the low hanging fruit and the things that make the most impact on the customer psyche. Painting the airplanes and getting the ginormous logos on the stadiums updated are two great places to start with that effort.
    I honestly didn't understand it and still don't. Sorry if that makes me such a bad person.
     
  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    No, you did not. You said that the spend on the stadiums and such was a bad idea. I do not think it is. That is what I was disagreeing with. Did I misunderstand your post?

    And I feel the same way on this both from the industry and the customer side.
     
  20. [quote="Wandering Aramean, post: 176120"
    I disagree here.

    Painting the airplanes and getting the ginormous logos on the stadiums updated are two great places to start with that effort.[/quote]

    As I noted before, I think this will upset Labor. This at a time when its not all said and done yet. I am guessing you probably don't work there with a contract. In a good economy and cash position, these are great things to do. After a merger, its a very normal thing to do. With haywire fuel prices, a dicey public and a terrible debt burden, I am not sure I would even spend your money extensively on these things.

    Painting a tail is one thing. I think the money is better spent refitting 747/777 fleet than painting the (whole plane) fleet :)

    There are industry analysts that think UA/CO has some big risks to surmount and they all involve money they don't yet have.
     
  21. Its #3, behind a great product and price.
     
  22. low hanging fruit I agree with.

    The whole airplane paint job of the fleet and the MLB deal, you are talking over $100M. UA doesn't have that to play poker with.
     
  23. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Historically "Labor" has shown that they get upset with many marketing efforts. That isn't a reason to shelve them.

    Yes, it is.
    Again, I disagree. While I would certainly benefit more personally if the seats and IFE were updated, the smart thing to do from a marketing perspective - and that's how you're drawing in customers and keeping revenues up - is to have a consistent message. Advertising last year's product is a bad way to sell it next year. That's basic marketing.
    There are certainly big risks and challenges. But UA absolutely does have a marketing budget with which they can address some of them.
    Compared to spending zero dollars marketing I'd say that spending $100MM (and I'm not really sure where you got that number from, but OK) on these things is probably a smart spend IMO.
    I very much disagree here. "Great product" does not attract customers. Price and schedule do, mostly price. I believe that "great product" is way down the line.
     
  24. Tact and Strategy is important, since these decisions will effect the bottom line well after the paint peels away and the stadium is torn down.

    Anyway, I will think about this at the next shareholder meeting.

    Being that UA is on the brink again with debt, I wouldn't think they need to make Advertising zero, but I do think the aircraft fleet needs some CPR more than bright lights and MLB.

    So I agree now, you agree with little :) Thats a really good premise for social networking :) (also an area of investment with UA)
     
  25. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    The stadiums need the new branding now, as they will get people to think about who to fly when they are not already at the airport. That is why they are doing the stadiums now, and taking their time to get all the aircraft done, even with their accelerated schedule.
     

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