American Airlines Filed Trademarks On Four New Slogans

American Airlines is close to revealing its new brand purpose. They’ll have a corporate slogan that comes from extensive testing and focus groups in a project led by Vice President of Global Marketing Janelle Anderson.

It was supposed to be revealed by the end of the year but they didn’t make that deadline. Several reports are that they’ll aim to launch their new narrative in conjunction with the roll out of new uniforms on March 1.

The airline’s holiday commercial contained a tag line I hadn’t seen before, “caring for what matters most” and I wondered if this was an early preview of the airline’s messaging.

In fact though the airline appears to have filed for trademarks on four slogans in September 2019:

Caring For People On Life’s Journey

Credit: US Patent and Trademark Office

Caring for people on life’s journey is heavily hospitality-driven. I’m not sure that life’s journey actually adds anything to it. If the airline wanted to emphasize that they care for people that could form a key message to employees and a focal point for how they’re supposed to take care of customers. It would also require management to revisit policies that stand in the way of this, whether it’s D0 departures at any cost (in contrast to United’s ConnectionSaver that looks at whether a flight will arrive early and if so holds the flight for connecting passengers) and their refusal to put non-elite coach passengers on other airlines when flights delay or cancel.

We Fly So You Can Soar

Credit: US Patent and Trademark Office

We fly so you can soar is a message about empowering people, that the airline is in service of passenger goals. It’s not clear how this is actionable, though, at any level of the company. It’s customer-centric but doesn’t tell front line or managers what they should be doing, or help them make one choice over another.

Our Favorite Destination Is Yours

Credit: US Patent and Trademark Office

Our favorite destination is yours is meaningless. It simply says we’re a large global airline and we take you where you want to go. It reminds me of Checkers fast food restaurants and “you gotta eat.” Food is necessary to survive, we sell food (or what meets the bare minimum requirements to be called food). It gives no reason to choose one brand over another.

Time Well Spent

Credit: US Patent and Trademark Office

Time well spent I think says that American Airlines is worth it? Maybe it means you want to spend time with them, or maybe it means they offer a value product. I’m actually not sure what to take away here. One suggestion I heard was that American should take its focus on low cost competition seriously and brand itself as America’s Value Airline. That’s not the focus I’d hope for, which is more customer-centric and more premium, but it would be a clear direction.

In some ways it reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough At Last” where Burgess Meredith is a bank clerk living a task-orienting life, dreaming of having the space for a life of the mind. A disaster occurs that disappears everyone but him, taking the pressures of the world away from him and allowing him all the time imaginable to read – until his glasses fall off and break.

Is One Of These American’s New Brand Purpose?

American hasn’t made any announcements of its new slogan. It makes sense that they would trademark all of the final contenders, and that in September they’d have been ready to file. I don’t love any of them. I’d rather have had a relentless focus on the needs of premium business travelers. Absent that ‘caring for people’ seems best.

All of them are likely to go over better than greatest flyers did.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The slogans are all pretty bad, and the asymmetric imagery is even worse (though I would hope that changes before hitting market). It’s another good example of how aimless and out of touch AA is.

  2. These are all lame slogans. Seems like a group of middle-school students were given a weekend project to design a new airline brand and logo.

  3. Lol cannot pick myself up from the floor… must be from a mole from UA/DL implanting a AA sabotage.
    The real, unsaid slogan:
    Caring For People On Life’s Journey (if you don’t get “thrown off before departure” like on certain F long haul from DAL & HKG)
    We Fly So You Can Soar (into Hudson River)
    Our Favorite Destination Is Yours (who said anything about your luggage’s)
    Time Well Spent (during delay at the airport )

  4. Most appropriate slogans: “We are boarding early, self loading cargo!”, “You want me to solve your problem? The gall.” “Making Spirit look good!”

  5. How about Usairways begins with YOU! Done with AA. Get over it Gary. I am sick of your posts. EVERY AIRLINE has issues and they have employee and customer issues. Obviously your FREE trips from AA have not worked out to your liking. Let’s look at all Airline seating as some of your posters has provided for us. Employees complain about it too because as a crew member under FAA rules and flying with a minimum crew will not be able to get you out in 90 seconds especially when people feel their belongings are more important than people’s lives. Get over yourself, dear. I wish your posts were as informative as mine are. You have NO CLUE!

  6. You put too much weight on taglines

    They should build on strengths in CLT, MIA, PHX where they’re uncontested to build margin that lets them compete in more competitive high value markets

    Growth in this country is in the 2nd tier cities – owning AUS, BNA, SAN, PDX is where future margin lies

  7. AA’s marketing clearly seems in touch with the customer. The problem is AA management is it of touch with its employees

  8. I’ll throw my hat into the idea ring. How about “American Airlines Your Oasis In the Sky”.

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