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Transcript from our chat with Holger Hätty

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Dear all, we are live now and happy to start the conversation. Holger Hätty is with us and will answer your questions:

The top question from our facebook fans was:
Looking at the strong and emotional reaction by thousands of your followers and all the negative tweets and blog pots – don’t you think you already have a strong and powerful brand?

Holger Hätty: Yes, we believe we already have a powerful brand and are happy about the ongoing discussions. But to stay successful in the future, we need to look forward and develop our brand for the future. And this includes sharpening our profile and positioning.

José Olé: As I guess you will defend your new logotype and your decision, I’d like to know what was the reason to get rid of a classy, timeless logotype which is so different and unique in aviation industry that in my eyes it just doesn’t make any sense to change it. Could you please explain it? What is the decision based on? Surveys? Brand Awareness? Figures?

Holger Haetty:
Your claim that our logo is timeless and unique is a personal impression. My first question is: what is our current logo? We get several answers, including square, cubes and tailfins. Therefore we decided to develop a new logo as part of a brand concept, consisting of more elements than just a logo.

why does the new brand positioning require a new logo?

Holger Haetty: A brand consists of the positioning, the values behind, the communication, the logo and the claim. And everything has to form a consistent whole. And the current cube logo doesn’t fit into this anymore.

How long will it take to implement the logo at all touch points?

Holger Haetty: Until end of 2012. This will enable us to spend very little money on the introduction, as we will only replace the logo on a rolling basis.

Your cost estimate is something below CHF 10 mio. Is this reallistic (similar rebrandings are significantly higher)?

Holger Haetty: The most expensive part of a logo change would have been to repaint the aircraft. This is not necessary and was the driver of the decision. The amount of less than CHF 10 mio. is realisitc.

Instead of changing your logotype and your claim, why don’t you strengthen your position by focusing on the product, e.g. increase the numbers of flight attendants on board (instead just the minimum number required by regulations) or enrich food & beverages on short-haul flight or extend possibilities of your flight booking machine, e.g. Star Alliance…

Holger Haetty:
You have to do both and this is what we will do. We are working on a long-term project, which includes constant product development and employee training, which matches our intended positioning.

Fernando: Have you considered reversing your decision to use this new logo?

Holger Haetty:
We understand, that the logo is the centre of discussion. But we have made the decisions wisely and we see no need to change. Why should we? Please specify.

BridgetCoopCab: Don’t you understand with the strong reactions on FB, blogs, newspaper forum that the vast majority is strongly in LOVE with the CUBES !

Holger Haetty:
A change of the logo of a company with a high public profile is naturally bound to generate discussion. With this point in mind, our analysis has revealed that the number of responses was not exceptionally high. Along with opinions opposed to the change, we also received many positive comments. In general, the comments regarding the logo reflect an indvidual taste.

SWISS: Please be aware that the user with the name Holger Hätty in the chat is NOT Holger Hätty. Mr. Hätty’s answers are only in this stream. Please play a fair game!

Julian: dear mr hatty, dont u think, that u will get the exact opposite effect with the new logo? the cubes are unique and putting a tail into it makes it – in my opinion – exchangeable. im also interested in walter stulzers opinion…

Holger Haetty: The new logo is consistent with our overall appearance. It ensures the recognotion of our position as “The airline of Switzerland”

Walter Stulzer: Who else should be able to use the Swiss Cross on the tailfin if not SWISS, the airline of Switzerland


N449AA: The new Logo looks like somebody hadn’t had any idea. It reminds to an old Airline( you know) and looks uncreative.Why not changing the idea to something more creative and modern? For example the Crossair Logo was creative and something extravagant. I’d love something in that way.

Holger Haetty: Creativity is not a value in itself. Our aim was to unify our aircraft appearance (our strongest brand ambassador) with the logo and there is only one consistent logo, which comes out of this thought.

SWISS: Sorry, there was a technical problem, but we are back live.

Why did you choose a claim like “Our sign is a promise”?

Holger Haetty: Externally: It’s a promise to our customers. Internally it’s a motivator for our employees.

Aren’t you afraid you will break that promise every time something goes wrong with a flight?

Holger Haetty: Once you buy a ticket, you receive the promise of a pleasant flight. We underline this promise and stand to this promise, being aware that nobody is perfect.

Matthias Hertzo: I still see no reason for the change. The new logos is a matter of taske, sure, but from the standpoint of functionality it’s not better than the old one.

Holger Haetty:
Actually, the new logo, together with other elements, will make us much more recognisable, e.g. at the airport or in advertising.

Alberto: SWISS have also a typical style, make of simplicity, good typography, and other things. Will SWISS change also this things?

Holger Haetty: We only change what we have communicated and in all other areas, we strive to improve. We are still sticking to our chosen path of puristic design.

HelmutNassauer: Too sad, you’re not giving any arguments, WHERE you’re sharpening your profile with the new Logo. You’re just stating that is the case.

Holger Haetty: As I said earlier, the logo is part of an overall concept approved by the board and with an overwhelming agreement by our management. I explained the concept further in the interview here on the blog and you will find more information on our website.

How closely do you track Flyertalk and similar Forums used by some of your most frequent clients?

Parand Rohani: Our social media team tracks Flyertalk and other forums and we take the feedback and discuss it with our departments.

You are gonig back to Swissair, why?

Holger Haetty: Any similarity is not intended, SWISS is Swiss and will remain Swiss. However, there has never been any great difference in the livery of the two respective airlines’ aircraft, aside from the name on the fuselage. This, too, is a natural reflection of the fact, that the role of the national carrier of Switzerland has applied to both airlines. Under the circumstances, it’s a logical step to give a prominent display to the national symbol. A company that bears the same name as its home country should not be averse to living up to the image of this country.

It is said, that the new look and logo has been dictated by Lufthansa. Is this true?

Holger Haetty: SWISS is an independent subsidary of Lufthansa and the management is responsible for its profit and loss. As I said before, the new look and logo is only dictated by a strategy, a positioning and concept.

I have heard that the employee feedback has not been positive?

Wrong. We get a lot of positive feedback and the presentation last week was well received.

What will be changed on the livery?

Holger Haetty: On our current fleet we will only eliminate the cubes on the engines. The new aircraft from 2012 on will have a slightly modified design, so both types can fly side by side.

Dear all, we hope you enjoyed this chat. We are aware that there were some problems with the chat and not everyone was receiving the messages.

We will follow your discussions and are happy about your feedback.
We will continue to inform you in the coming weeks – stay tuned!

Good evening from the SWISS Headquarters in Zurich-Kloten and thanks for your participation.


15 comments

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  • @ Olaf: about the association between the square and Switzerland, you should know that Switzerland is the only country in the world (ok, together with the Vatican) to have a square flag. All other countries have a rectangular flag, but the Swiss one is square.


  • All the composers of these negative feedbacks have something in common : They can not cope with change ! It is just a new logo, the people of swiss are the brand !


  • So it’s arrogant of Swiss to stick to a decision that was made within the board? Isn’t it also arrogant to expect them to change because there are people who don’t like something new? Interesting…
    Why is this chat called a mockery and useless, just because you didn’t get your will? Get over it, life is full of changes! As much as I like the old logo, it has two flaws in my opinion:
    1. When you take both cubes/squares/whatever, the font in the right one is too small. A logo must scream in your face what it stands for. Either with a big font or only with symbols. Small fonts don’t work. Look at the current Logo of car manufacturer Opel: Does anyone notice the font on top on first glance? So the change brings us a big font saying SWISS and the Swiss cross. Easily recognizable.
    2. The square. Okay, classy, but what’s the association between the square and Switzerland? Switzerland isn’t square-shaped, neither are Swiss people or the airplanes. Look outside the box: not everyone knows Swiss, especially in the US or Asia. How should they know that a red square represents a Swiss airline? A tailfin is umambiguous. There’s not much beyond airplanes that you can associate with it.

    That said, i din’t really see the need for a new logo. But we will get used to it and I am sure that over time this logo will still stand out from many other and possibly worse ones.


  • I am surprised to read that there are a lot of positive comments. I haven’t read a single one, not in a newspaper, not in social medias, nowhere. Taking those comments by swiss into consideration I would like to express as well that I DO NOT LIKE AT ALL the change in logo. Kindly count this as a negative comment!!!


  • The chat was a mockery…
    As stated, the answers were a repetition of previous week PR.
    When the vast majority of the comments on facebook is super-negative, how can someone dare to say ”Wrong. We get a lot of positive feedback and the presentation last week was well received.”? Do they just count the live Tweets and 10 seconds time later as well received?
    Pure mockery….


  • In the future, if you ask someone: “What is our logo?” Nobody will be able to give you an answer – today, they can at least say: “It’s a cube, it’s a square,…!” I can’t believe the management would agree to such an ordinary and dull logo! If you have to have a new logo, be convincing and a little bit more creative! There is no way this new logo will sharpen your profile or strengthen your position in the market – on the contrary! This chat was a waste of time, because there was not a single good argument for the need to change the logo of a successful and well established airline!


  • Whats wrong with you guys!? Mr Hätty answered clearly why they wanted to change of logo , read once again the discussion ! :)


  • Guys, I give a rat’s behind on how the logo looks. Important to me is that they keep their brand promise and deliver a good ground and cabin product. I can understand that this might be an overly emotional topic for anyone for CH but seriously, there are a lot of product aspects to be criticized, this whole cube v fin discussion starts to seem like a nice deflection to “enhance” the offerings in LH manner


  • Ich verstehe einfach nicht wie so viel Fassungslosigkeit und Kritik von allen (!) Seiten über das neue Logo das Management Board derart kalt lässt.

    Noch ist es nicht eingeführt liebe Leute bei SWISS. Überlegt euch das bitte nochmal


  • Hold on, when did Swiss HQ move from Basel-Mulhouse to Zurich-Kloten?


  • I’ve always been a fan of SWISS. But I have to admit I just can’t understand the decision to change the branding, and the cube logo.

    Once again, the new logo looks ‘low-cost’. Why is SWISS management not listening?


  • Very interesting! Thanks for the transcription. I totally agree with the fact that such a logo represents clearly “The Airlines of Switzerland”. Well done again for your rebranding! Keep going on with the good work!


  • Interesting, despite the backlash over the change in logo, Mr. Haetty seems adament not to listen to his customers. Unbelievable.

    Eine ganz interessante Meinung hat Herr Haetty. Trotz der grossen Anzahl von Kunden, die das neue Logo kritisiert haben, scheint Herr Haetty seine Kunden ignorieren zu wollen. Unglaublich.


  • Well, this chat wasn’t necessary, all what the management said was already know.

    Alibi Übung…


  • Walter Stulzer:
    Who else should be able to use the Swiss Cross on the tailfin if not SWISS, the airline of Switzerland
    Answer: Helvetic Airways

    nailed it!