Avianca and TACA, two major airline groups in Latin America, merged back in 2009, creating a holding company that includes the former flag carriers of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa Rica. Since then, they've spend a few years integrating the two groups while the old brand names were retained. That ended yesterday, May 28, when Avianca became the group's primary brand.
Both airlines have previously used bird symbols (a condor in the case of Avianca) and the new symbol pays some tribute to that. It can also be seen as a map of the Americas.
It has previously been reported that Lippincott aided the airline in selecting the name. Local media are crediting Lippincott and Sancho BBDO for the design work.
The old TACA identity was introduced in 2008 and created by Lippincott, while the outgoing Avianca logo was created by Futurebrand and introduced in 2005.
" Honoring the business development reached by Avianca and TACA Airlines with 94 and 82 years of uninterrupted operations, respectively, the new identity bonds the heritage of the route network, envisioning connecting the continent through all cardinal points, capturing in the logo the service provided through the skies of the Americas.
This new image highlights a very important chapter in the airline´s history, striving to provide a strong product and service offer in order to become the ideal partner for business and leisure travelers.
Fabio Villegas, Avianca Holdings CEO said: “The single commercial brand represents a very important milestone for an improved flight offer and an interesting challenge to Avianca’s service capacity. For that reason, the airlines’ background and the professionalism and experience shared by the many generations of men and women who have contributed with their work to Avianca, TACA Airlines, Aerogal, and Tampa Cargo, have become our inspiration.” " - Press release
Lippincott's story on their work for Avianca:
"In 2009, Avianca, the flag carrier of Colombia and the oldest continuously operating airline in the Western Hemisphere, and TACA, the leading airline in Central American, embarked on an ambitious merger and brand transformation. Based on the aspiration to be the best Latin American airline, Lippincott counseled that a singular brand with a harmonized customer experience would be the most rewarding, albeit challenging, path forward. And not until those elements were aligned should the new brand be revealed.
World-class brand benchmarking, cross-functional employee work-sessions and in-depth customer ethnographies provided the foundation for the brand strategy. As part of the research, Lippincott uncovered a customer growth segment – the "Latino Moderno" – whom the airline would seek to attract in addition to its traditional customers. The “Latino Moderno” is a sophisticated, stylish and tech-savvy frequent flyer accustomed to and willing to pay for a distinct experience.
A shared vision, mission and set of values were developed along with a proprietary customer experience map, which would become the guide for unifying and upgrading the entire passenger experience. This included the union of key touch points across airlines, branding for “LifeMiles,” the frequent flyer program, a new focus on service and a common purpose of delivering “Latin Excellence” to passengers around the world.
Based on the rich heritage already associated with the name Avianca in key Latin American markets, Lippincott also recommended adopting the single brand name Avianca. To activate the brand verbally, we developed brand messaging, positioning, tone of voice and brand sponsorship guidelines, as well as communications strategies and tools.
In creating the visual identity it was important to reflect the heritage and legacy of both Avianca and TACA but also signal that this is a new, pan-Latin American Avianca. This work included a new logo, brand architecture system, livery and visual system. The new identity was built on the symbolic power of the Condor, a symbol long associated with Avianca but now in a modern form that figuratively links South, Central and North America. Additional design elements included aircraft interiors, various mood lighting schemes and other experiential details that brought the new brand life.
Finally, Lippincott advised on the launch strategy, underpinned by the plan to take the time to align internal culture and external customer experience first before the new brand was revealed to the world."
Facebook album with way too many images of the brand unveiling