When it costs as much as it does to repaint an airplane, you take care with your choice of choosing a new identity. Senior management and marketing experts put their heads together to devise the best new visual expression and messaging to take the brand forward for the next decade. Or, you could just ask the rank and file.
Start here with a story about American Airline’s new CEO Doug Parker soliciting the employees’ opinions about American’s new logo and plane livery. By doing so, Parker puts into a tailspin the work of Tom Horton, the new Chairman of the Board and former CEO pre-merger as well as the design firm FutureBrand; this was a done deal, right?
Skift (my very favorite new business blog because it’s well-curated and about travel) points out that the maneuver was clever in the way it engaged employees in a decision with wide implications. The danger, though, is that dyed-in-the-wool old-timers have a disproportionately loud voice and that, even if they lose “fair and square” their resentment persists.
It takes a firm, steady hand for management to make such a momentous change as a change to a well-known (if very tired-looking) brand identity. The real change isn’t with lines and inking, as we all know. It’s with minds and thinking. That is the real heavy lifting management needs to do when inducing a forced evolution.