when brands collide
Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 31, 2009 11:43 AM
It's not the first, and it won't be the last time we’ll see airlines joining forces in an effort to broaden their reach. These days, it's an economic necessity. But today's news reveals an unusual pairing of airline brands: The somewhat staid and formal German-owned Lufthansa is forming a "ticketing partnership" with the U.S. upstart known for low fares, JetBlue. Lufthansa gains wider access to U.S. and Caribbean destinations, while JetBlue enters the European market for the first time.
The deal goes even further: Lufthansa has purchased 19% of JetBlue. A Lufthansa spokesman claims the airlines are "evaluating the possibility of a customer-oriented cooperation." Yet these two airlines couldn't feel more different: The Lufthansa brand persona ("There’s no better way to fly") seems the antithesis of JetBlue ("Happy Jetting"). Imagine, if you will, a Lufthansa passenger transferring to a JetBlue flight, or vice versa. Will cultures clash – or will the airlines find a way to put the flying public on common ground?