Virgin Blue Re-branding
Industry Setting – The latest in Australian airline business rivalries belong to Qantas and Virgin Blue Group. Qantas is dynamically employing constant changes in management, financial, marketing, employment relations and global in response to changes in internal and external environments. Virgin Blue, Qantas’ big competitor has responded by it’s recent re-branding on both domestic and international routes replacing Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and V Australia and now use the new name Virgin Australia.
Challenge – The Virgin Australia brand transformation was to upgrade its image from low cost airline to more up-market and more of a full service operator. The challenge include, one Virgin Australia brand (all Virgin brands rolled into one); launching new loyalty program; expansion to business class; revamping lounges, new uniforms, flight menus; unveiling new aircraft with leather seats; classy, in-flight internet connectivity; new look logo design (by Hans Hulsbosch, Australia’s leading brand and design consultancy) and to seriously challenge Qantas’ 90% share of the Corporate market. Virgin Australia also seeks approval for strategic alliance with Delta on US-Australian routes and Richard Branson’s (Virgin Blue Group founder and CEO) deal with Singapore Airlines.
Strategy – The Virgin brand’s trademark “coolness” are to be reflected in glamorous models, flashes of red with Sir Richar’ds broad smile in the foreground. The new Virgin shakes off the Blue which can be seen in the Airbus A330-200 aircrafts feature in business class seats.
New A330-200 Business Class Seats
Result – The world’s largest airline review site, SKYTRAX has ranked Virgin Australia’s official 4-Star ranking for product and service quality. It’s A330 Business Class – 5 stars, Economy Class – 4.5 stars, B737-800 Premium Economy – 5 stars, and Economy Class – 4.5 stars. Virgin Australia was named the winner of the Airline Staff Service Excellence Australia/Pacific award at the 2011 World Airline Awards at the Paris Air Show. Customer reviews report impressive, outstanding and superb airline and professional and attentive cabin crew and ground crew, cleanliness, entertaining and excellent food and fares competitive…highly recommended!
We know from the news the airline industry are loosing money. In my opinion, Virgin Australia’s strategy to revamp it’s low-cost fare identity to a brand new image of a high class operator, was a way to become more competitive to other airlines and to generate more income hence cut their losses.
Examples of other airline re-brands is Delta Air and the mashup of United and Continental Airlines.