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DISMANTLING THE DOPPELGÄNGER BRAND: Aeroplan Miles are Not Redeemable to purchase this Item

This post is a follow-up to class 04 and the discussion about the doppelgänger brand. The example I gave was its adverse effects on United Airlines; however, we learned in class 05 there is a way to potentially dismantle the doppelgänger brand—all is not lost! As a refresher, in the branding universe a doppelgänger brand is a company logo that has been transformed to call-out a brand’s wrongful behaviour. In the last post I singled out United (I "re-accommodated" United), but in this post, I will use Air Canada as an example because they haven’t completely gone to the dark side yet. They are still a few flights away from being doppelgängered (hmmm? it’s not like Google, it doesn’t really work as a verb). Honestly, United was just too much to tackle without being paid a consulting fee.

There are 4 steps to bringing back a brand and rescuing it from its doppelgänger brand:

Here is how Air Canada can put the phases into action:

PROBLEMATIZATION: AC flights are always delayed or cancelled and its customer service it terrible—they don't care about the passenger.

INTERESSEMENT: Studies have shown that 84.99% (source: The Flight Network) of Air Canada flights are on time and 65% of Air Canada passengers feel they are receiving good customer service (this percentage is for example purposes, I made up as it seems it's a lot lower).

ENROLLMENT: Get popular celebrities to endorse the airline as a brand ambassador. For example, Air New Zealand has some very creative inflight safety videos. For one they created the hashtag #CrazyAboutRugby and recruited New Zealand's All Blacks to become the Men In Black and brief passengers on the inflight safety features. Air New Zealand has enlisted everyone from Betty White to Richard Simmons doing 80's style fitness videos. It has even flown Hobbits and travelled to Middle Earth, all to entertain passengers while at the same time briefing them about infight safety.

MOBILIZATION: Create a new and positive narrative around the brand. In 2014, Air Canada wanted to surprise Canadians living abroad with the “gift of home.” The video features two Air Canada pilots going into “The Maple Leaf,” a popular pub in London, England that is frequented by ex-pats for a Canuck connection and little taste of Canada. The pilots asked several people what they missed most about Canada; to get to the punchline quick (because it's more enjoyable watching the video than reading about it)…they surprised patrons with round-trip tickets back to Canada for the holiday season. Yes, they took a page out of WestJet's flight book but there can only be one first mover. Besides Air Canada isn't known for being on time but to give them credit, they are trying to create community brand awareness. They are now one flight closer to defending against a doppelgänger brand in the making. Please Note: Aeroplan Miles are not redeemable to purchase this item.


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