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Showing posts from September, 2013

Debranding: Why Painting Over Your Logo Isn't Enough

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When a Thai Airways plane skidded off the runway after a landing gear failure last week the airline moved quickly to cover up their logo on the damaged aircraft. This is standard practice in the airline industry and, as a Thai Airways spokesperson explained to The Guardian, it is also required by the Star Alliance crisis communication guidelines.

Removing your corporate branding from a damaged aircraft or other asset seems a sensible thing to do. It will reduce the number of photos circulating that tie your brand to a negative event and -- specifically for airlines -- it is probably better for nervous flyers.  But just painting over the logo with black paint is not the best way to go about it. Even after the black paint was hastily applied anyone familiar with the Thai Airways livery could immediately recognize it from the colors. This is the irony of effective branding. When it is well done people can recognize your product just by the colors, the shape or some other small design de…