TUESDAY 9 NOV 2010 12:27 PM


The first stage of Birmingham Airport’s rebranding programme has been revealed as the Midlands airport discards its ‘International’ tag from its name.

The new identity, created by Connect Group, will be rolled out throughout 2011, culminating in the opening of a £13 million redevelopment of the airport.

Connect Group’s new logo for the airport, interlocking circles in shades of blue, and slogan, ‘Hello World’, are part of the airport’s attempted repositioning as a global travel hub. Communications activities highlight Birmingham’s potential as a solution to the ‘Heathrow Problem’, and the fact that they fly to over 400 worldwide locations.

However, the name change could be problematic when it comes to implementing the new brand. Gideon Wilkinson, MD of brand implementation and visual identity management specialists Endpoint, said of the rebrand that the design process seemed to have overshadowed implementation planning. “You would have imagined that getting the website ready for launch would have been a priority, but we find a new slick looking site containing old photography, copy and more importantly downloadable terminal maps still branded Birmingham International Airport.

“It’s challenging enough rolling out a new identity but compound this with a new trading name and it becomes even more fraught – you have employee contracts to update, service agreements with suppliers to change, financial reporting to update... It will be a huge undertaking.”

But as the travel industry recovers from the effects of a global recession which saw a decline in international tourist arrivals of 4% in 2009, senior management are confident about the possibility of developing a global culture at the airport. “Our current brand identity doesn’t reflect what we’re about now and what we aspire to be in the future.” said Airport CEO Paul Kehoe. “The rebrand is far more than just a new logo, it’s a change of identity which aims to create positive awareness about our potential.”