United Airlines, sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly, is updating its brand design.
In a note to employees, United argues “a visual identity that reflects our new spirit as a thoughtful, modern and innovative airline will make us memorable to our customers.”
Indeed, brand image does matter and customers pay attention. Think, for a moment, about why people love Virgin Atlantic so much. I’d argue it is not because the product is superior, but because the airlines does such a wonderful job of marketing itself.
United is embracing the Continental Airlines globe across its branding. This is reflected most profoundly in its premium cabin crockery. United is also focusing on core colors, using “Rhapsody Blue” in uniforms across all work groups. Take a look at the infographic below.
Other colors include:
- United Blue
- Pacific Blue
- Premium Purple
- Runway Gray
- Sky Blue
- Atlantic Amethyst
If you’re scratching head your head at purple, you’re not alone. But the “Premium Purple” is being incorporated into United’s new premium economy (Premium Plus) product, rolling out this year.
Finally, United noted that new uniforms are coming:
After gathering your feedback, we are designing new uniforms with comfort, durability and style in mind. Stay tuned for more information on the program later this summer.
I’m such a conservative when it comes to uniforms. I like the current uniforms and they are not very old, so I’m not sure why a replacement is needed. Hopefully there won’t be an AA-type issues…
I don’t think “Rhapsody Blue” will ever be synonymous with United like (trademark protected) robin egg blue is for Tiffany, orange for Hermes, or even yellow is for Lufthansa. But a consistent brand image is important and small details do mater. Think about the song Rhapsody in Blue…that song is inextricably linked to United for anyone who has flown United. So is its current typeface. As United continues a period of progress and growth, it hopes to solidify its mark of increasing quality through strategic visual identity. As much as I’d love to see a return of the tulip, the globe is here to stay. At least Rhapsody is too.
(H/T: Brian Sumers)