Communication is key to a successful Malaysia Airlines rebrand

Flying into Kuching this morning on Malaysia Airlines​ the haze was so bad the pilot aborted the landing and went around again. The same thing happened last week. The haze isn’t MAS MAB fault but it has a significant impact on its brand.

Last week, the pilot came on the PA and explained the problem, reassuring everyone with his confidence and authority. This time the flight deck was silent. So we the passengers are sitting there wondering why the landing was aborted.

Without any information and aware of the carriers recent issues, we start asking ourselves, “Is there a problem with the aircraft?” or “Perhaps the airport is closed?” In that case, “Do we have enough fuel to go elsewhere?” “Are the pilot and co-pilot ill or even conscious?” An intimidating situation such as this one can have a negative effect on the brand. Yet at the same time, it can be part of the rebranding process.

It’s the little things that make or break a brand. Especially one that is already broken. A simple 30 second explanation was all that was needed to calm everyone down and earn a little bit of respect. Communication is a key part of branding. Successful brands have an emotional connection with consumers.

MAB has a credibility problem and that credibility problem needs to be fixed. One of the problems is the lack of an emotional connection. How can consumers connect with a brand that doesn’t communicate? If there is no connection the rebrand will fail. It certainly won’t be fixed with pressing the flesh, a new name, new livery, new advertising and a new logo.

It’ll be fixed by creating an emotional connection with customers and delivering economic, experiential and emotional value to those consumers.


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