A successful rebrand is dependent on many different aspects; the most important being – defining the problem, determining an effective strategy, and a professional implementation process. Here we analyse the successful rebrand of Scandinavian Airlines by Bold.
The problem with the old brand
Scandinavian Airlines was struggling in 2014 – they were adjusting to new air travel habits, making fixes to operational flaws, and trying to appease the needs of younger budget air travellers.
The company’s brand and reputation were suffering and the pressure was consistently rising. They needed a fresh new look for the company – one which would appeal to the modern day air traveller.
The old SAS branding had inconsistent visual communications, brand messages and marketing strategies, with the only common thread being the logo. This approach confused consumers and demonstrated no unified strategy in presenting the airline and communicating to their audience.
It made it difficult for customers to connect and build a meaningful relationship with the brand with so many differing messages and faces. The challenge was telling a new, unified visual story while preserving the heritage of the airline.
Determining the strategy
Like with all brands today, rebranding strategies need to be more focused on digital channels and therefore flexibility. Also, a brand’s visual identity must be incredibly solid to stand out and stand the test of time.
The Scandinavian Airlines rebrand strategy was based on extremely specific data and targeted a very focused new target audience, and their most frequent travellers (those who travelled at least five times each year).
In this instance the frequent travellers only represented 12% of the market and yet were responsible for 70% of the overall revenue of the airline. This focus meant that brand recognition had to be strong, very clear and truly reflect the values of those consumers.
The new visuals focused on Scandinavian Airlines taking ownership of the colour blue – using a blue on blue colour concept it allowed for increased complexities in the brand image while standing out.
The rebrand strategy also took into consideration all elements of the Scandinavian Airlines offering – including their food packaging.
Overall, the rebrand unified all of their branding elements, across multiple communications channels and mediums – from print to digital – while injecting personality and forging a new path using different approaches such as cyanotypes and gradients.
A successful rebrand
By implementing this company wide rebranding endeavour, Scandinavian Airlines went from steady losses in 2014 to a 2015 profit of 148 million euro. And, a 26% increase in perceived brand value. The updated gradient-based identity delivered a four times increase in the media ROI.
Analysing the brand’s history, listening to the audience and understanding the evolution of the market led Scandinavian Airlines to develop a new visual identity and thus managed to pull up a company in free-fall.
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