Happy New Year: What’s your brand?

It’s been a busy holiday season for me and a good one. I hope it has been for you and yours as well.

The Flag Stays! It’s decided, by a pretty narrow margin, that the Blazing Flag tail design that American Airlines released about a year ago will stay. The vote was roughly 49% for the old “AA” tail vs 51% for the new design. Most of us pundits felt that given that choice, the flag would stay.

Doug Parker believes, or says he believes, that livery doesn’t influence a passenger much at the end of the day. He’s the CEO of the largest airline in the world, he may know more than I do.

I think that livery and branding make a huge difference in an airlines fortunes. But I also come from the school of thought that says that a business should stake out a stand on things. I like companies that aren’t all things to all people in their branding but, rather, a company that sets a vision with its branding.

I greatly prefer a company such as Apple who brand and styles itself to be polarizing as opposed to a company such as United Airlines whose branding and styles leave me wondering what they stand for at this point.

American’s is polarizing and that may be good enough.  The one thing AA’s livery is not is boring.  I still think the flag is wrong and I think the flag could be redesigned.  And it may well be redesigned one day but for now, I concede the decision and wish American success.

No offense US Airways people but your livery is actually worse.  You’re getting an upgrade, in my opinion.

It has been tradition for me to make predictions for the new year but I don’t want to do that this year.  I think we’ll keep doing what we do best:  advocating for better companies in the industry and criticizing the worst of the mistakes.

Happy New Year


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