Republic has made its branding decision. Fortunately, Frontier lives and Midwest dies. Midwest was kind of like your great, great uncle who has been barely hanging on with life support for a long time. The brand had deteriorated to the point of being unrecognizable, so it was time to pull the plug.
Last week, I wrote this over on BNET:
So if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Frontier surviving, taking only the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie from Midwest. And that would be the right move.
I’m very glad to hear that they’ve listened to me. Actually, I’m just glad that CEO Bryan Bedford made the right decision here. I wasn’t so sure that would be the case.
Frontier will be the surviving brand, and the livery and logo won’t be changing. That’s good, because major brand changes can cost a lot of money. They’ll avoid many of those issues by sticking with what they’ve got. The only thing that will be kept from Midwest? The cookie. Once the transition is complete, you’ll get a cookie on every flight.
And when will that transition be complete? Thanks to an incredibly simple and completely unnecessary graphic that was likely created by some former consultant, we know that the operational integration will be complete by November with branding completely done by October 2011. You can follow along at the new website, FrontierMidwest.com. Seriously. Kind of funny that their killing off the Midwest name yet they stuck it in the transition url, huh?
What else do we know about this deal? Well, all planes will be painted in Frontier colors and they’ll get their own animal tails. The first one to get painted will arrive by the end of April and it will appropriately be painted up with a badger. The badger is the state animal of Wisconsin and mascot of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. People in Wisconsin will get to name the badger. It’s a nice gesture.
More importantly, the customer experience will start becoming more consistent here. In the media kit, the FAQ talks about Frontier’s plans for inflight entertainment.
The TVs installed in our Airbus fleet will stay. We are still exploring other in-flight entertainment options and plan to have some form available in each of our aircraft by 2011.
I’m glad to see the TVs sticking around, but I’m wondering what’s coming on the rest of the fleet. I would hope that they’d put TVs on their Embraer 170/190 fleet since those go pretty long distances. But the way this is worded makes me think that their version of inflight entertainment may very well just end up being inflight internet. We’ll have to see.
In the end, this branding decision isn’t big news. It’s exactly what was expected and it’s the right thing to do. The big news is that the team at Republic made the right decision. That’s good to see.