Merging Two Storied Flag Carriers to Create the Premier Pan-Latin American Airline
Albert Vecerka (Esto Photographics)
Strategy & Naming
When Avianca, the flag carrier of Colombia and the oldest continuously operating airline in the Western Hemisphere, and TACA, the leading airline in Central America merged, they asked for guidance on how best to manage the merger and brand transformation for growth. Based on the aspiration to be the best Latin American airline, we 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.
Based on the rich heritage already associated with the name Avianca in key Latin American markets, we recommended adopting the single brand name Avianca. To activate the brand, we developed brand messaging, positioning, tone of voice and brand sponsorship guidelines, as well as communications strategies and tools. Through vigorous research, we uncovered a new customer growth segment the airline would seek to attract in addition to its traditional customers. We developed a shared vision, mission, set of values and key touchpoints and created a customer experience map to guide the passenger experience.
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. We took the time – 3 years – to align internal culture and external customer experience before the new brand was revealed. The result is a unified Avianca with over 15,000 employees delivering “Latin Excellence” to more than 100 destinations. As of the official mainline brand launch, Avianca reported a record 9.7% jump in passenger demand over the first two months of the year.