A rebrand to relaunch private flight.

The Challenge

 How do you successfully relaunch a brand, expand its customer base, and compete with other private charter companies doing things on an even bigger scale?

The Approach

We embraced the Pensacola-specific elements of the brand, focused on the convenience of private flight, and highlighted the detail-oriented special touches that make Aero unique.

Make flight amazing and turn everyday journeys into Big Aero Moments.

In 2019, four-year-old chartered plane company Aero came under new ownership. That new ownership wanted all Gulf Coast residents to learn about the benefit of private chartered flights and provide premium service to more clients than ever before.

Their vision for what Aero could be was truly high elevation: “to become the premier choice for private charter in the southeast by setting the expectation for service and safety in our industry.”

For high-level businesses, special occasions and more, there are times when commercial flights and other modes of transportation just won’t cut it. Whether it’s an attorney team jet-setting to depositions, time-sensitive medical transports, priceless time with family, or just a special outing with friends, Aero is an elevated, low-stress way to get where you want to go.

Aero is committed to providing the highest quality of chartered flight which is why the majority of their pilots are military veterans. The team’s flight crew is dedicated to their clients from start to finish, providing a seamless and comfortable experience while onboard.

Aero’s goal to reach the masses with their message was clear, but how were they going to make it a reality?

We partnered with Aero to provide an overhaul of the entire brand from top to bottom, providing new logos, colors, signage, graphics, and communications. A clear, energetic message would make it simple to reach the clients they wanted and provide the experience they were

We knew Aero had a challenge ahead of them. They needed to relaunch a brand under new ownership while making it purposeful and ready to go to market. Fortunately, we were working from a blank slate as Aero’s new owners were eager for a full rebrand. We started the process of discovery by doing research on their competitors, both regionally and across the globe.

Then we held a brand workshop with key stakeholders which included both high-level leadership and support staff alike who highlighted a commitment to elevating the experience of private flight, creating big moments from routine ones. The team shared that their biggest goals were leaning into a true-to-Pensacola brand and making Aero the go-to travel option for those within the drive-to market across the Gulf Coast.

In the workshop, we also learned the team wanted to embrace the nostalgia of the golden age of flight, bringing Aero clients the luxury and simplicity of yesteryear, providing a refuge from the stress of modern airports. This line of discovery led to the ‘elevate’ manifesto where Aero commits to elevating air travel for whatever brings you aboard.

Aero is Pensacola’s only air charter service, so positioning the brand in a we-love-local market was a no-brainer.

Still, Aero wanted to expand their reach and their demand during the brand relaunch. They did this by increasing their marketing capabilities and providing a guarantee that they are “typically 10% less expensive than out-of-the-area charter companies.” Aero also provides information about the cost of their services compared to the cost of repositioning fees that would come from bringing an out-of-town plane to the area.

Aero provides assurances that their planes are generally of a higher quality than many other charter operators, claiming that the Aero Air Charter Jets fly “up to 66% faster and 30% higher,” than turbo-prop planes.

When it comes to competing against commercial airlines, Aero may lag behind on pricing, but by highlighting a handful of very convincing perks, they have no issue making a strong argument for private charters by frequently reminding you how stressful and tiring traditional flights can be.   

The messaging of Aero rests on three pillars: 

“Let Aero Air Charter help elevate your moments:

  • Aero Makes Flight Amazing Again
  • Elevate Your Business Trip
  • Elevate that Family Vacation”

This three-pillar approach reaches three distinct client bases and creates the opportunity to market differently to each one.

“Aero Makes Flight Amazing Again.” 

Here, Aero appeals to the nostalgic angle, hearkening to a time when flight was not a sweaty inconvenience, but a luxurious treat. Fly on your time and schedule, trust in Aero’s qualified pilots, and skip the TSA queue. Wouldn’t it be nice to spend more time being dazzled by the tops of the clouds than waiting in a cramped airport seat before your boarding zone is called?

 “Elevate Your Business Trip.”

One of Aero’s larger client bases, this pillar showcases the convenience of flying private for important business. When time is money, the value of a wasted day for travel on both ends of a business trip can add up to quite a lot.

“Elevate that Family Vacation.”

 A more premium pillar, expanding private flight to the family vacation is the stuff of dreams. Of course, what are family vacations for if not creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences and memories you’ll never forget? 

“That’s a value you’ll treasure.”

Beyond promising luxury and convenience, the ethos of Aero is clear throughout their messaging. Aero’s mission highlights an emphasis on safety, high-level client relations, top-of-the-line pilots, satisfied customers, and providing life-saving medical flights.

To bring home the Pensacola-focused branding and upscale nostalgia that defines Aero, we needed a strong visual package.

The company’s new logo is full of meaning. The shape of the badge is an ode to Aero pilots’ military background and looks just like something you might have been given by a pilot on your first plane trip as a child. Anyone who visits or lives in Pensacola will recognize the glowing sunset and salty beach wave colors that make up the logo.

Aero’s branding exudes a premium quality that still manages to be friendly and warm. We accomplished this by incorporating round and welcoming typography and big, bold statements. Across all channels, the brand says from the very beginning, “relax, this is going to be good.”

Aero’s color palette of light blue and sunset orange is bright, energetic and reassuring. It’s colorful and vacation-driven.

The photography associated with Aero is bright and airy with a mix of posed images. While some photos might hint at a feeling you get when headed somewhere new, others will show a happy family ready to embark.

Final touches included icons to capture the movement-inspired nature of Aero like a compass or beach ball. Custom illustrated patterns including ones resembling topographic maps and organic cloud shapes completed this visual rebrand.

For a brand like Aero, creating impactful swag was not just important, it was lots of fun. From branded polo shirts for the team to cups for onboard the plane, from custom seat pillows to traditional rack cards and business cards, each item was purposeful in creating a consistent message of professionalism with more than a bit of playfulness.

Other highlights included plane mats, branding on the tail of the planes, branded gym bags, hats, koozies and beach bags.

What might normally be a boring one-sheet flier became an opportunity to build a paper airplane with dotted line instructions on the back (in Aero colors of course). With whimsical touches like this, Aero is able to show they don’t take themselves too seriously despite the premium product they provide.

Outside of the day-to-day printed materials and supplies, we also helped plan and execute a massive launch party to reintroduce the Aero brand to the Pensacola market. And a big party needed loads of special branded merchandise and signage, of course.

Hosted at the Hanger, Aero showcased their fleet of planes for photo ops while servers and bartenders dressed as flight attendants served themed drinks. Guests were invited to the party using invitations designed to resemble plane tickets which were hand delivered to existing and potential clients. From wraps on the doors to a fully decorated lobby to flyers designed to resemble passports, not a single detail was missed.

Some of our best work comes from collaboration with other experts in our industry, and for Aero’s brand video we turned to Lensea Film. The team at Lensea produced both an animated video about private flight as well as a separate video which featured Aero’s brand story. We worked with Lensea to bring the brand story to life from storyboarding all the way to premiering the finished film at the brand relaunch party.

The 30-second spot highlights the three pillars of Aero – elevated flight, elevated business trips, and elevated family fun. It conveys the relaxed, upscale attitude that’s so important to Aero clients.

The Lensea team was faced with a set of unique circumstances during the creation of the brand story. Most importantly, the need to create the illusion of in-air flight in a grounded plane.

From Lensea:

“Our creative and post team built a game plan that involved green-screening the exterior of the plane inside of a hanger and building 3d models of the jet to place it in the sky. We love a good technical challenge.”

On social channels, we created and managed Aero’s online presence during the relaunch and for a period afterward complete with a full communication package.

“Airplane mode,” a post might say. “Meet me on my jet,” might earn a like or share.

Aero’s posts on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn feature locations they serve, provide reasons to use private jets, information on the benefits of private flight, and occasionally highlight travel packages to places like the US Open tennis tournament.

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