This week, Continental Airlines and United Airlines announced a planned merger creating the largest airline. While the two airlines claim their routes barely overlap and the merger should be completed by the end of 2010, the Chairman of the U.S. House Transportation Committee, Congressman Jim Oberstar has asked the U.S. Justice Department to block the merger. While we wait for the merger to be approved by antitrust regulators and shareholders (and let’s face it — it’s unlikely the merger won’t happen), consumers can already see some of the effects of the merger with a new brand identity and logo — sort of.
First, a snippet about the new brand from the merger press release:
The holding company for the new entity will be named United Continental Holdings, Inc. and the name of the airline will be United Airlines. The marketing brand will be a combination of the brands of both companies. Aircraft will have the Continental livery, logo and colors with the United name, and the announcement campaign slogan will be “Let’s Fly Together.”
Next, a peak at the new logo, which combines the United name with the old Continental icon:
Finally, a look at the new airplanes that look very similar to the old Continental planes with the United name replacing the Continental name.
What do you think of the interim branding solution? Love it or hate it? Would a complete rebrand with a new name and logo unrelated to either of the previous brands have been a better choice?
Of course, it’s still quite possible that a complete rebranding will happen in the year or so following the merger completion, so the question is whether the Continental and United brands have enough value to warrant keeping either. Would consumers lament the loss of either brand? It’s doubtful.
Truth be told, both brands carry a lot of negative baggage (no pun intended), and a complete rebranding could be just the ticket this company needs (again, no pun intended … well, maybe a little).
What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
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