Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Virgin Blue starts brand review - why not rebrand Ansett?

News out that Virgin Blue CEO John Borghetti has brought on long term collaborator Hans Hulsbosch to help with a brand review for Virgin Blue.

Hulsbosch previously helped Qantas with their brand review though I think the minimal changes of lengthening the Roo tail and slanting the acronym is more of a tweak than a review.

From press reports it looks like nothing is off the table including scrapping the use of the world "Virgin". Given the current DJ product and announced plans for it, I recommend DJ drop the Virgin brand, write a cheque to administrators KordaMentha and re-brand the whole business Ansett.

I am being facetious of course but there is some rational thinking behind this. Below is a table comparing the Ansett of 2001 with the Virgin Blue product of the same year and of 2010

My point is that as Virgin Blue chases more and more of the Qantas business (aiming to increase corporate share from 5% to 20%) it is getting closer and closer to the Ansett business model and further and further away for what made it a success. From the table you can see that the edgy brand and free food are the last pieces differentiating DJ from Ansett. They need to be very careful in this process that DJ do not end up catching just enough of Qantas share to lose what built their brand and suffer the same fate as Ansett.

PS: for those that don't know Ansett was the long term Star Alliance full service competitor of Qantas that went bust in 2001 after (but not caused by) Sept 11. Virgin Blue launched in August 2000

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