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The LUV Airline: Integrating a New Look
As anticipated by much of the airline industry, Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) revealed it’s new look today, Monday, September 8.
“Our collective heartbeat is stronger and healthier than ever, and that’s because of the warmth, compassion and the smiles of our People,” said the airline’s Chairman, President, and CEO Gary Kelly. “The Heart emblazoned on our aircraft, and within our new look, symbolizes our commitment that we’ll remain true to our core values as we set our sights on the future.”
At a media event at Dallas Love Field, the carrier’s homebase, the low-cost carrier unveiled noonly a new livery and logo, but new inflight materials and revamped airport experiences.
“The job wasn’t to change who we are,” said Kevin Krone, Southwest’s Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We already know who we are. The job was to keep the elements of Southwest that our Employees and Customers love, and to make them a bold, modern expression of our future.”
It should be noted that LUV did not do this all on it’s own. Given the task to distill more than 40 years of rich history into one modern, impactful look took the help of advertising and branding partners GSD&M, Lippincott, VML, Razorfish, and Camelot Communications.
“As we developed the identity, it wasn’t just about the new livery or the logo, but about developing the total, integrated brand expression of Southwest,” said Rodney Abbot, Senior Partner at Lippincott.
Continuing to use a vibrant color palette and stripped tail that has long identified the carrier, Southwest decided that it was important to remain unique and to retain it’s personality- if you’re a loyal Southwest customer, you know what we’re talking about.
The airline is taking a cost-conscious approach to integrating its new identity. While new, incoming planes will be delivered in the new livery, older planes will be painted on the days that they were already scheduled to be painted on prior to the new paint job. Many of the airport conversion projects will be completed by combining the new looks into ongoing projects. It is expected to take approximately seven years to complete the project.
“The Heart is our identity-the Heart of our Southwest Employees enhances the Customer experience,” continued Krone. “ It’s the finishing touch that makes the Southwest brand unique, demonstrating that Southwest cares about each and every Customer. Even on the belly of the plane, the Heart is a symbolic reminder that we put our Hearts into every flight.
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