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).

United logos

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.

United plane

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.

Tom Wants to Hear Your Branding Issues:

If you are a printing company, or product/services company serving the industry, and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.

Follow MarketCues on Twitter for branding and social media tips, as well as the latest trends. Tom also welcomes emails, new LinkedIn connections, calls to 407.330.7708 or visit www.marketcues.com. How can he help solve your branding issues?”

Tom Marin is the managing partner of MarketCues.com and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.

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