Why Brand Identity is so Important
This month, United Airlines and Continental Airlines presented new corporate branding for the merged airlines (Before) and then changed its mind to UNITED in caps with the Continental globe (After).
The new design has taken my breath away. But not in a good way. I canʼt really think of many incredible brand marketing blunders on this scale. With millions of dollars at their disposal, it is shocking to see such an underwhelming effort against a backdrop of two venerable and highly visible brands as United and Continental.
The new logo, as the companies explained in its press release, "Displays the combined companyʼs brand name in capital letters (UNITED) in a custom sans-serif font, joined with the global mark which has represented Continentalʼs brand image since 1991." Actually, what it does is presents the brand in the most bland way possible and throws in the "world image" as an after thought. It all gets muddled in the on plane display.
Perhaps the worst part is, if you didnʼt know that the two airlines had merged to form the worldʼs largest airline, you probably wouldnʼt have thought anything about it. Thatʼs not the point of a new brand identity though. Or is it? Perhaps they didnʼt want to draw attention to themselves. What do you think?
Whatʼs certain is, no one will notice, and thatʼs not good brand identification.
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Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.