Posted by Barry Silverstein on June 21, 2010 01:40 PM
If airlines can use their brands for differentiation, why can't airports? That's what London's Gatwick Airport is out to do with a new identity launching today, accompanied by an ad campaign with the tagline: "Your London airport — Gatwick."
Gatwick, smaller than its rival Heathrow and the second busiest airport in the United Kingdom, is using a new blue and white visual identity to position itself as a "challenger brand" to Heathrow, according to Andrew McCallum, director of communications at Gatwick. He says "we want Gatwick to be a friendlier, more human airport throughout the customer journey."
Gatwick is investing in more than superficialities to beef up its brand.
It boasts a new speedy security system and new retailers at the airport. Over the next two years, the airport will extend its North Terminal and introduce an inter-terminal shuttle.
One reason for Gatwick's new aggressive stance is the fact that former owner BAA, which also owns Heathrow, was ordered to sell its other London airports, Gatwick and Stansted, for competitive reasons. Global Infrastructure Partners, the new owner of Gatwick, has a stake in trying to convince consumers that Gatwick is a better alternative to Heathrow.
Gatwick's chief executive, Stewart Wingate, is clearly looking to heat up the rivalry with Heathrow.
"Today is an important milestone as we compete to make Gatwick London's airport of choice for passengers and airlines," he says. "Gatwick has long been recognized as London's favorite airport, a more friendly and enjoyable place to travel. It's by building on these qualities and investing in new facilities that Gatwick will go from strength to strength."