September 09, 2014

Re-Brands We Luv- Southwest Airlines Wears Its Heart on Its Belly

by Guest Blogger


The folks here at Trademarkology are big fans of Southwest Airlines, which is convenient since Nashville is a Southwest "hub" (I use quotes because they don't really follow the hub model). Yesterday, we were excited to see that Southwest Airlines announced a major brand overhaul. Its website, phone apps, airplanes are now sporting a more modern, clean look. The new theme features sharper, primary red, yellow, and blue colors. The once predominant orange is noticeably absent in the color scheme. The central focus of the rebrand is Southwest's new heart logo, which will now appear throughout the airline, most prominently on the belly of each aircraft. The airline has also introduced a new (at least I hadn't heard it before) sound trademark to replace its "Ding- You are now free to move about the country" sound. The new sound trademark consists of two quick claps followed by a ding (it can be heard at the end of the video, below). Whether you like the new look or not, Southwest should be congratulated on somehow launching a rebrand that doesn't conjure thoughts of excrement or unmentionable parts of the human anatomy.

Our favorite thing about this rebrand is how Southwest has given some insight into its rebranding process through a series of YouTube videos. For instance, in the video below, Southwest's Chief Commercial Officer, Bob Jordon, does an excellent job demonstrating what a brand is and how it should be conveyed. He begins by saying, "The thing that Southwest has that no other airline hasâ¦" He then goes on to state unequivocally, "We are the heart airline. We are the airline that creates an emotional connection with our customers and with our employees." This is the perfect expression of the essence of successful brandingâyou must find something that makes your company different, effectively communicate it internally and externally, and let it permeate and guide everything your company does.

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