We talk about “branding” a lot in marketing. This often entails a company’s identity – logo, colors, type – as well as the copy tone or voice. We rarely hear about “brand personality.” Those little things that show a company’s distinct character attributes that set it apart from its competitors. A great example is JetBlue. I look forward to seeing the irreverent names on the nose of their planes whenever I travel.
Here are some examples of JetBlue plane names:
Ba Da Bing, Ba Da Blue
Blue Look Maaahvelous
Devil with a Blue Dress
May the Force Be with Blue
Bippity Boppity Blue
It Had to Be Blue
Yes, every name has “Blue” in it. Each one is incredibly whimsical and sends a two-pronged message loud and clear: “We are not a boring company” and “We want our customers to enjoy every part of their flight.”
I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall to see who made the decision to name all the planes, who was involved in the brainstorming, and who approved them. A dream assignment, if you ask me. It must’ve been such a blast to come up with the 245 names (to date) that make their fleet so endearing and entertaining.
The Investment in Brand Personality
It’s not a typical branding assignment to focus on ways to establish brand personality. And it would be challenging to measure the ROI. Yet I have no doubt that it contributed greatly to this airline’s popularity. Every month lots of folks are Googling “JetBlue plane names.” They’re finding multiple sites that make it a playful game to keep up with all of them, such as this one and this one.
From a strategic standpoint, it was a great icebreaker. This charismatic brand personality instantly created a deeper connection with passengers. Naming inanimate objects is something a lot of us do as a way to express our creativity and fondness for things we value like bikes, boats, and cars.
When JetBlue launched, it faced stiff headwinds from established airlines. Right out of the gate, it did a lot to improve the passenger experience – a TV for every seat, Terra Blue potato chips and other desirable snacks and beverages, plus complimentary sleep masks on red-eye flights. As time passed, their competitors caught up and offered similar perks.
Yet they all lack that certain “je nais se quois” – names like “Deja Blue.” The ability to make their passengers chuckle at the sight of their planes after going through the travelers’ obstacle course of packing, rushing to the airport, checking in and enduring TSA inspections cannot be discounted. Even if it can’t be precisely quantified.
Those JetBlue plane names have shown us that underneath the corporate facade of this airline, there are some fun people at the helm who thought of the customer experience from every conceivable angle.
What are your favorite JetBlue names? Would you like to add more personality to your own brand? If you need help conjuring up ways to establish or amplify your brand personality, please don’t hesitate to contact me.