Hainan Airlines – Branding & Marketing

Hainan Airlines is an international Chinese airline. As they continue to expand and open new routes into North America, they had to learn how to target an entirely new audience. Relatively unknown in North America, they were looking to raise brand awareness, elevate their brand equity, and, most importantly, find opportunities to penetrate the mainstream North American market. That’s where UNINCORPORATED came in.

We knew that the first step in targeting an audience is to figure out who that audience is. Working with Hainan Airlines, we narrowed it down to a few key personas, the business traveler and leisure traveler being the two most prominent. Armed with that knowledge, we used our target audience to inform our messaging work and our brand and marketing plan for the year. With a combination of brand-building recommendations and specific market promotions, we increased Hainan’s North American presence and make them the international airline of choice for many North American travelers.

Core Value Proposition

Our messaging workshop began as a high-level brainstorm to capture the most essential elements of Hainan’s value proposition to North American audiences. Our goal was to create concise, understandable and tangible messages that speak to Hainan’s most basic value proposition. We focused on connectivity and discovery, emphasizing that once customers experience Hainan for the first time, they will want to return for another flight.

"The best airline in North America that connects you with China. Fly with us once and you’ll come back."

Our usage of “best airline” positions Hainan as an elite service provider and premier brand. This language speaks to Hainan’s recognition as a SkyTrax five-star airline, its promise of comfort and convenience and its infusion of Eastern elegance with Western excellence. Extending this theme to position Hainan as the “best airline in America” connects directly with North American customers that want a product they can trust and that will satisfy their expectations of familiarity and comfort.

Brand Audit & New Creative

Hainan’s current digital advertising strategy includes investments in display ads, particularly on social media channels, and remarketing. To understand Hainan’s digital advertising strategy holistically, UNINCORPORATED audited the available creative and promotional materials from Hainan to gauge whether the campaigns were consistently branded, actionable and visually compelling.

Current digital advertising and in-flight creative could be more consistently aligned with Hainan’s core brand promise. The digital advertising campaigns had disparate fonts, colors, messaging and branding with poor calls to action. The in-flight experience had similar gaps in visuals and messaging.

Reimagined current Hainan creative to clearly articulate how simple, thoughtful tweaks could provide customers with a seamless journey from digital touchpoints to real world flight experience.

Messaging & Brand Positioning

At Hainan’s request, UNINCORPORATED executed a brand slogan development and testing process. This work focused on developing a broad-reaching slogan for the North American market that delivers on Hainan’s core brand promise. “Connecting Elegance with Excellence” ranked highest among the slogans we tested, followed by “Imagine No Boundaries.” The following two slides present the most actionable findings from the survey.

"Connecting Elegance with Excellence"

Positive influence in purchasing decision

Evokes a feeling that Hainan Airline is the best choice

Personal preference for slogan

"Imagine No Boundaries"

Positive influence in purchasing decision

Evokes a feeling that Hainan Airline is the best choice

Personal preference for slogan

Outdoor Billboard Campaign

Our approach was to focus on building awareness of Hainan’s service offerings, delivering on the brand promise, building affinity for the brand and connecting with target audiences in North American markets. The design of these advertisements will be attuned to a North American audience, with an emphasis on clean, uncluttered layout, powerful imagery, and streamlined information. We will leverage our key message points, new slogan, refreshed image library, and updated visual theme to more directly engage North American customers.