KEEPING BMI REGIONAL
“Passenger numbers were boosted
by an average of 10% YOY.”
In 2012 following the sale of British Midland International (BMI) to AIG (owner of British Airways), the regional subsidiary airline BMI Regional found a new home with an independent aviation consortium. It continued to operate under the same brand name. However, with the sale and termination of the BMI brand being so widely publicised in the press, BMI Regional had a lot of work to do on its reputation, persuading customers and travellers that it was still the same nimble regional operator with the same great service.
BMI was the brand name recognised and cherished by the public. The name BMI Regional, along with the sale of BMI confused many customers. And the BMI brand name was not up for grabs, owned by AIG as part of the sale terms.
The newly owned airline was also running on very tight budgets across the board – survival was on everyone’s mind. And the focus was ‘getting bums on seats’ in a hugely competitive, consumer-driven market.
Having worked closely with BMI and BMI Regional’s marketing teams since 2011, we’d built a trusted, fluid and cohesive working relationship. As sole creative agency following the sale, we continued to work closely on delivering the best outcomes on everything from route launch campaigns to onboard packaging, operational assets to digital communications.
Our deeper knowledge of the market and business challenges meant we could cut through to what really resonated with customers and trade alike to achieve BMI Regional’s goals.
As the model evolved, traditional UK based short-haul routes moved to European short-haul, where multi-language campaigns became central to communicating with the widest audiences possible.
With no budget available for a grand rebranding and renaming, we needed to create space between the BMI Regional brand of old and the dynamic new airline.
Working with existing brand assets and colours, we updated the design language to reflect a British airline with a modern, service driven, mission that was at home with repeat business-centric customers and recreational travellers who wanted to fly short-haul in style.
The language and tone-of-voice were softened to be more conversational, whilst keeping it simple for translation purposes.
The new ‘true blue’ design was rolled out across all customer-facing comms becoming instantly recognisably BMI Regional for the next 5 years.
BMI Regional survived the sale transition with flying colours and has restructured its network across Europe.
Passenger numbers were boosted by an average of 10% YOY in that period, through direct marketing activities and digital
channels. All within an extremely competitive, rapid-reaction market.
“A genuine friendly team with drive, plenty of industry experience and the ability to keep to tight deadlines. They provide excellent forward thinking creative ideas for both our B2B and B2C customers.”
Frank Mertens, Marketing Manager, BMI Regional