Branding is a thorny issue for combined United, Continental

08/23/2010 | Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)

United Airlines and Continental Airlines are trying to keep the wraps on their unified brand until the deal is complete, but some details are leaking out -- and they're not always popular. Flight crews will get all-new uniforms designed by Cynthia Rowley, and the new parent company will go by the name United Continental Holdings. The airline will be called United, but it will look more like Continental, thanks to the smaller airline's logo and color scheme emblazoned on every aircraft. Some United loyalists are protesting the disappearance of familiar brand elements such as the tulip-style "U" that has represented the company for almost 40 years, but a Continental spokeswoman says that's just one of many compromises that were necessary. "This combination is a true merger of equals bringing together the best of two great organizations," she notes. "Accordingly, the marketing brand combines brands of both companies."

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