The Business of Branding

United Airlines will soon have a new look.  

The paint scheme on its jets, otherwise known as its livery will get a “refresh” of sorts.

According to reporting by Flight Global, it won’t be a radical overhaul.

“It’s an evolution not a revolution,” said CEO Oscar Munoz at a recent aviation summit.

The change is not unexpected.

United recently unveiled new uniform designs that will be tested by employees. The company is introducing new colors, including purple, in addition to its standard blue and black.

With the exception of some airline geeks like me and some frequent flyers, will anyone share in the intrigue of a cosmetic change?

It may benefit frontline employees who may get a burst of excitement from the new designs of their uniforms and of the planes. 

It’s not that different than changing the furniture in your home.  A new design can help to formulate a new outlook and morale.

In the end, customers may benefit too.  While this business is typically driven by competitive airfares and frequent flyer benefits, such a move shows the company cares about itself.  It doesn’t want to be passive.  An investment in appearance helps customers appreciate what’s inside – including ticket prices, routes and incentives.  An upgrade in appearance to attract new customers and retain existing ones – a step to satisfy travelers and shareholders.