Strong branding: An airline’s passport to success

September 2, 2019

Just 40 years ago, flying was a rare occurrence for most people. Now, more than 8 million people fly every day – equivalent to the entire population of New South Wales taking to the skies. So, if flights are no longer a scarce commodity, how do airlines distinguish themselves to passengers who want to get from A to B?

The answer lies in the power of brand.

But brand strategy is more than just crisp design and compelling copy: it’s a combination of everything which makes your brand, you.

It could be the really pithy ad you saw on the tube, or the radio jingle you can’t get out of your head. It might be the billboard which makes you think, “Yeah, next time I’m definitely going to pay for extra leg-room”, or the colour of the cabin crew’s uniform as they walk through the airport.

Powerful branding is having bold, brilliant ideas which carry your brand’s message with flair and consistency. But how do airlines ensure they get it right?

Luckily, here at Proctors, we have a crew of our own: strategists, creative directors, designers, motion graphics animators and copywriters – all with bucketloads of experience to strengthen any airline’s creative identity. And among our repertoire of successes from work within the aviation industry, we’ve produced an award-winning website, delivered a 47% increase in year-on-year sales, and increased revenue per head by 11.5%.

Identity at the ready

Ask someone to describe a brand, and its visual identity is often the first thing that springs to mind. This portfolio of colour palettes, company logos, typography, images and illustrations are your at-first-glance opportunity to grab attention and brand recognition.

Your visual identity should marry with your tone of voice, too – and together they’ll help distinguish where you sit in the market. For your airline, that also means you can see where the potential is for your brand to grow. 

Beyond that, it’s important your visual brand works across print, digital and beyond. Sadly, that’s not always the case. In fact, we’ve spent countless hours adapting some huge agencies’ brand work which didn’t convert to digital. And in some cases, we’ve had to re-concept and create them completely from scratch!

It’s a costly mistake that businesses won’t want to make. And it’s one of the reasons we’ve developed processes which mean brand consistency is built in – such as using Atomic Design methodology to build your website. 

Ground control, how do you read?

It takes some guts to write copy that converts in today’s environment. People absorb all sorts of brand messaging, from lots of places, all the time. And words are a funny thing – even if people don’t remember them, we remember how they made us feel.

When we get cracking with your airline’s tone of voice, that’s one of the questions we’ll address: how you want to make your customers feel. Your tone of voice is the expression of the people you are, behind your brand: whether you’re a calming, comfortable presence, or a laidback friend who’s a bit of a laugh, depending on your company values.

Identifying and sticking to a tone is one of the most powerful ways you can set your brand apart from others. And it’s why we work so hard on getting things right. Drop a line to marketing@proctors.co.uk for some info on how we develop your brand’s voice to create a consistent personality which carries through to your messaging – and ultimately to your customers.

Uniformity is key

And we’re not just talking about the cabin crew.

There’s one word which you may have noticed has appeared quite a bit throughout this article: consistency. Your brand is a thread, and it should weave its way through everything your airline does – what you look like, the way you speak and how you make people feel.

The touchpoints you have to connect with your customers are extensive: from the side of the plane, to staff uniforms, to your advertising and social campaigns, too. There is a limitless amount of material which presents an opportunity for your brand to cement its imprint on passengers’ minds.

If a brand is disjointed, it doesn’t leave a lasting impression, which is exactly why Proctors create stringent brand guidelines for your content to adhere to. But a multi-channel portfolio which reiterates the same message, theme and tone is powerful – and it’s unforgettable.

Virgin Airlines have done this well – in fact, their own ‘Our Story’ page talks about the vital role their brand narrative played in building the global network they operate today. And their tongue-in-cheek, friendly, innovative and accessible airline is memorable to everyone. Another clear example is EasyJet: an instantly recognisable brand associated with cheap and cheerful flights.

When you work with Proctors, you have the support of two brilliant Creative Directors who lead the charge. This has benefits within the creative process itself, but beyond that they maintain a watchful eye on your brand’s consistency at every step, ensuring everyone’s adhering to your brand guidelines and best practice. They’ll do the hard work of checking for consistency across digital, print and more, and they’ll run a tight ship on your project turnaround too.

With 40 years of experience, P+S knows what works and what doesn’t when taking brands to new heights.

 

Like what you see? You’re in luck. We’ll be publishing a three-part blog series on how we’re helping airlines to supercharge their sales, boost customer spend and ramp up their reach using clever, tactical marketing automation. 

Make sure you watch this space to find out more, or, drop us a line at airlines@proctors.co.uk