Changing the rules of low-cost flying
When Vueling’s founders approached us in 2003, they had little more than an idea: to create Spain’s first budget airline that would compete nationally and across southern Europe from a hub in Barcelona.
At the time, the market was dominated by the Big 3: Iberia, Spanair and Air Europa. And, from the outset, the intent was to challenge the status quo. Low-cost flying (in Spain, certainly) was in its infancy and carried with it a deserved reputation for being ‘cheap,’ with old planes, young pilots and poor service. Our challenge was to turn those perceptions on their head.
Building the customer experience
We worked closely with the airline’s core team and listened to consumer insights to shape the new brand.
Over the course of a series of workshops, we defined Vueling’s multiple touchpoints and how the brand would be brought to life. From this important research stage, we built a compelling customer experience that extends from the moment they buy their ticket to touchdown.
Adopting the simple ethos that cheap flights don’t have to mean lower standards, we created a brand idea that embraced simplicity and straightforwardness as well as a quirky and down-to-earth personality. We called it ‘Espíritu Vueling’.
A bi-lingual brand
With ambitions that reached beyond Spain, it was vital that the brand embraced the English language. The name Vueling itself is a composite word, made by joining ‘vuel’ from the Spanish word for fly and the ‘ing’ from flying.
From this unexpected starting point, we developed an amalgamation of the two languages that has become a fun and friendly tone of voice that is completely aligned with the positioning.
It all starts with a dot
Most Vueling flights begin with a visit to an app or website. And that’s why we took the dot in vueling.com and made it fly. But it doesn’t stop there. This dot travels through our entire visual universe, creating clouds of simple patterns and friendly shapes.
The colour yellow is recognisably Spanish but is barely used by competitor brands, who favour blues and reds. Seizing the opportunity to stand out, we used this most visible of colours to our advantage. The harmonious secondary colours add diversity to the palette. These, together with a system of rounded graphic shapes and a typography style chosen for absolute clarity, establish a consistent set of assets for a simple and approachable visual identity.
Owning the digital space
When Vueling was born, no other airlines in Spain gave customers the opportunity to buy tickets online, so it was essential that we led the way by developing an effortless and compelling digital experience.
A brand in a thousand forms
An airline has a staggering number of brand components. We were meticulous in ensuring that ‘Espíritu Vueling’ came alive in every last touchpoint. Applications of the identity include: the check-in area, baggage tags, boarding passes, flight attendant uniforms, security cards, onboard magazines and food menus – the list goes on and on. We even chose the music.
The brand takes off
Of course, the planes themselves are an undeniably prominent brand asset. The strength of the identity helps them stand out among the hundreds of other airlines at the different airports. Vehicles branding, too, requires the same consideration, ensuring they look part of cohesively designed fleet
Top of mind and highly recommended
At launch, Vueling saw the highest capitalisation ever achieved by a new airline in Europe. It reached its full-year revenue target of €21 million within the first six months.
Now it’s the low-cost airline that first comes to mind in Spain, ranking above Easyjet and Ryanair. And with on-board surveys showing a recommendation rate of 96%, it’s no surprise that Vueling continues to grow – it flew over 11 million passengers in 2010, 35% more than the previous year (it’s now Spain’s second largest carrier). And when Vueling and Clickair merged, McKinsey reported that a Vueling ticket could be sold at a 10% premium – testament, we think, to ‘Espíritu Vueling’.