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The Fabric That Bonds Us

Rooted in audience understanding, the rebrand of Glasgow Prestwick Airport was crucial to the economic wellbeing of not only the business itself, but also the wider community and businesses in the surrounding area in which it has existed for the past 70 years.

The history of this much loved, but tired, airport is embedded in a time of when air travel was still glamorous. More recently, Glasgow Prestwick Airport was seen by many as a no-frills alternative to Scotland’s main airports – and with little investment in recent years, evidence of an airport which had lost its shine and felt left in the past.

Rescued from closure in 2013 by the Scottish Government, Glasgow Prestwick Airport rebrand did not have the levels of investment open to their privately-owned competitors.

But implicit to the process from the outset was something far more valuable – a tangible commitment from an emotionally-connected workforce. Their ambition for the rebrand, underpinned by a real sense of West coast of Scotland pride, meant that ‘good enough’ would never be good enough. For the workforce. Or for Stand. Creating a brand that they would be proud to deliver was intrinsic to the process from the outset.

The output from an in-depth consultation process created the insight that produced a design strategy embedded in organisational truths: connectivity, agility and the ambition to deliver a ‘boutique’ user experience to every customer (whether a passenger travelling on a ‘no-frills’ passenger flight on a well-earned once a year holiday or a VIP client looking for a slick reception and departure). To deliver sustainable, safe and top quality services to all customers is at the core of the airport’s objectives.

Designed around the idea of a modern Scotland and its connection to the world, the marque relates to the movement of people, freight and facilities. The marque also takes its cues from quality Scottish heritage derived from weaved textiles (tartan and tweed). Relevant across the business silos, the single marque works to unite all areas: connectivity is the fabric which bonds us.

The brand is credited with the many successes achieved by the wider team over the past year, opening doors and giving the employees a sense of pride and confidence in delivering their roles. Whether bidding for new routes against the higher-profile competitors, competing for the lucrative military contracts or ensuring that the passenger user experience is delivered with excellent customer service at its core, buy-in to the new brand and to the values that underpin behaviour has ensured its success.

And the commercials back this success up:

  • The airport increased property occupancy levels from 58% in 2014/15 to the current 95% – increasing revenue and reducing rates costs by approximately £500k.
  • Chevron relocated their European headquarters to the airport in November 2016 – creating in excess of 80 jobs.
  • Fixed Base Operations were brought in-house, increasing the income from this area by £214k over the 2015/16 period.
  • A major US Government fuel contract was secured.
  • The airport attracted four separate operators to work with them on bids for future UK Space Agency funding.
  • The airport’s concessionaires invested £15k in food and drink facilities, and intend to invest a further 30k over the next two years.
  • The airport has attracted new marketing partners, including SPT, Arran Whisky, Turnberry and Glenapp, and are currently in talks with Scotrail, CalMac and the Glasgow Science Centre in relation to the airport.
  • Ryanair have confirmed that passenger numbers are increasing by 12% at Glasgow Prestwick Airport year on year, and they have added a new route to Poland starting in October 2017.

In a recent passenger survey conducted by the airport:

And the passengers ‘get’ the bigger picture on the impact the new branding can bring. Unprompted comments from the recent passenger survey include:

‘The new branding restores professionalism to the airport, that it is serious to compete and bring in new airlines and routes.’

‘I only hope that the new brand helps to promote the airport to other airlines and that you are able to attract more airlines and widen the range of destinations that passengers can fly to/from Glasgow Prestwick Airport.’

But most importantly for Stand, the feedback from the employees is what makes us most proud: with 40% of the employees having noticed that passengers are ‘treating them differently’ since the rebrand.

And 50% could recall conversations that they had had with passengers on the positive impact of the new brand:

‘…their comments are all about how great the place looks and how it’s great to see the airport moving forward.’

‘I think they take it more seriously now and realise we are on the way up again.’

‘Everyone who has spoken to me about the brand has mentioned how professional we look, that it is cleaner and makes us look as though we mean business.’

‘Much more professional first impression!’

And finally, when the workforce were asked if they felt a ‘personal attachment to the company’, 90% agreed (or strongly agreed) that they did.

Most businesses could only dream of a workforce with this level of commitment.

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