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traveling brands

Southwest Wears Its Heart On Its Sleeve with New Livery, Brand Experience

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 8, 2014 01:11 PM

Southwest Airlines, the largest domestic airline by passengers, revealed a new livery, logo and brand experience this morning at a press event held inside a hangar at its Dallas headquarters. The airline, which is completing its merger with AirTran, introduced a refreshed color scheme of blue, yellow and red, as well as a new heart logo that will adorn the belly of its planes.

The first visual update since 2011 also introduces the Southwest name to the plane's fuselage, while its web address will adorn the engines. Dubbed "Heart One," the new livery is said to be in honor of the brand's employees (and might remind some of JetBlue's heartfelt logo ode to New York by Milton Glaser).

“Our collective heartbeat is stronger and healthier than ever, and that’s because of the warmth, the compassion, and the smiles of our People,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO said in a press release. “The Heart emblazoned on our aircraft, and within our new look, symbolizes our commitment that we’ll remain true to our core values as we set our sights on the future.”Continue reading...

social media

LinkedIn Gives Brands a Publishing and Customer Service Platform Like No Other

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2014 03:28 PM

LinkedIn is steadily becoming a major focus for brand marketing thanks to its commitment to value-added B2B services like self-publishing that allow brands to build themselves up online.

With an in-house ad business through its "Sponsored Updates" feature and its recent acquisition of Bizo and Newsle, LinkedIn is increasingly giving brands a platform to promote their content and services to other brands and potential employees.  

“Publishing solid, optimized content on LinkedIn allows you the opportunity to showcase your brand, and reach a significant amount of qualified potential customers, not only through LinkedIn’s own site search, but also via the search engines themselves," Business2Community notes. 

But beyond publishing, several brands are using LinkedIn's platform to generate some interesting conversations. A major innovator in the social travel space, KLM, has launched a service on LinkedIn that allows followers to ask travel-related questions. Alternately, Mercedes-Benz is using the site to promote its 2015 C-Class line with a “Driven to Perform” contest that will award a LinkedIn user with a two-year lease of a Mercedes C300.Continue reading...

ready for takeoff

Blanket Approval: British Airways Passengers, Please Fasten Your Neurosensors

Posted by Caitlin Barrett on July 1, 2014 03:34 PM

British Airways, aiming to measure passenger well-being in-flight, just launched a data-collection initiative that recruits volunteers to wear “happiness blankets” on their trans-Atlantic flights

That’s right, happiness blankets. Sort of like a mood ring for your whole body (one that’s linked to a fiber optic neurosensor strapped around your head). Once travelers get past what must be a very acute “Wait, why am I doing this?” settling-in period, the magic—and data collection—can begin.

The blankets shift colors, from cool blues when the passenger is calm to red when they’re frustrated or upset. According to the video explaining the concept, passengers are most soothed at the moments when you’d expect it: during meal service, while enjoying a movie, and sleeping deeply (the airline punctuates this point with the video’s tagline, ““Never underestimate the power of a good flight’s sleep”).

So, why happiness blankets? There are so many ways to collect passenger data. Why this method, which veers pretty darn close to stunt? Obviously, British Airways was confident that it would make passengers mostly very happy, which gives them a nice story to tell prospective travelers about their experience today.Continue reading...

brand revival

World's Cheapest Airline, PEOPLExpress, Returns to Fly the Underserved Skies

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 10, 2014 11:13 AM

After being grounded for more than 30 years, the PEOPLExpress airline brand is making its return to an industry hungry for a good deal. The US airline, which in its 1980s heyday herded passengers onto no-frills flights for a few bucks, will begin selling tickets Wednesday for a handful of flights out of its home base in Newport News, VA, starting June 30.

With fares as low as $76, the PEOPLExpress brand is diving back into an industry that has begun to adhere to the high-fee model that the airline pioneered back in the day. A leader in checked-bag fees and meal-free flights, PEOPLExpress will now go up against other no-frills US carriers like Spirit Airlines, which is trying to turn around its reputation for poor customer service while goosing sales for its discount flights.Continue reading...

response mechanism

Malaysia Airlines Grapples With MH370 Crisis Management

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 12, 2014 03:09 PM

As the tragedy and mystery around the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and its 200+ passengers continues to grip the headlines, the airline itself is showing what it takes to handle a full-scale disaster of this proportion real-time, with the whole world watching.

A dedicated microsite has been posting a series of statementssince the plane was reported missing four days ago, including: “Malaysia Airlines' primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. All these costs are borne by Malaysia Airlines."Continue reading...

ready for takeoff

Spirit Airlines Has a Novel Marketing Platform for You

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 12, 2014 12:51 PM

If you need to vomit while flying Spirit Airlines, be sure to take a moment before you let loose and check out the bag. It may have the logo of some enterprising brand on there. 

Spirit is going after every dollar it can and has opened the doors for brands to advertise on pretty much everything on its planes. Skift.com reports that for just $30,000, a message can be placed on 150,000 “air-sickness bags” for a three-month run. 

The low-cost Spirit already has one of the highest profit margins in the industry, according to Skift, and was the first to charge passengers for bringing on carry-on bags. It also charges them for snacks, drinks, pillows, and blankets and “Spirit flight attendants even make an on-board pitch to sign passengers up for Spirit co-branded MasterCard credit cards.

Skift reports that the Spirit ad rate card offers brands the opportunity to put their logo on window panels, bulkheads, overhead bins, tray tables, in-flight menus, flight attendants’ aprons, and Styrofoam cups. Brands can even wrap a complete Spirit plane in its messaging for a full year for $400,000.Continue reading...

traveling brands

Headed to Amsterdam? Tweet KLM for Your Ticket

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 13, 2014 03:46 PM

It's a bit ironic that the world's oldest airline is also the most innovative.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is known for implementing tech-savvy initiatives to make traveling easier—and more fun—for its global passengers. And now, the airline has introduced a new way to pay and set up flights through social media. 

Passengers on KLM's five weekly nonstop flights between Chicago's O'Hare Airport and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam can now pay for airplane tickets, rebook a flight, make a seat reservation or arrange for extra baggage on Facebook and Twitter.

It's really no surprise, since the airline industry is one of the most socially-active, and KLM tops that list.Continue reading...

traveling brands

JetBlue Navigates Rough Winter by Keeping Up Communication with Customers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 24, 2014 11:04 AM

JetBlue may have had to cancel nearly 475 flights due to the snow and ice conditions in the Northeast earlier this week, but at least it wasn't pummeled by PR gaffes like after last year's Valentine's day tarmac incident.

Thankfully, JetBlue and a lot of other airlines have learned to communicate better with their guests, especially on social media—an improvement that can be seen on the bottom line, too. “Shares have tripled since March 2009, loving life alone in an airline sector that has recaptured the ardor of investors,” Bloomberg Businessweek notes

“JetBlue has actually profited from the fact that fares are up and restructuring got majors out of markets like San Juan—or US Airways (essentially the rebranded America West) retrenching from Boston—where JetBlue can then swoop in and grab slots,” said Roger King, an industry analyst with CreditSights, according to Businessweek. “They still offer a better leisure experience than the others: TV, leather, more legroom.” 

Indeed, JetBlue is ranked among the best low-cost airlines, but that doesn't mean it's immune to major problems like those caused by extreme winter weather this year.Continue reading...

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