There is a distinction between a “brand” and “branding” that many here do not grasp- some do.
The United “brand” consists of the company’s behavior, services and hard product. The deliverables the experience for the consumer. Branding is just the visual representation of that. The important thing is that they are aligned. Right now United is being very smart. They are investing in the experience for their customers and it’s getting better day by day, month by month and year by year. A great new livery must be earned.
This year so far I have flown many international and domestic legs and everything was fine. The FAs have ALL been good to great, and when I get I have gotten the full effect: United Polaris on a 77W it’s been an exceptionally good experience. When I have flown domestically, every single flight was on time or early and everything went smoothly. When the thousands of people who have had good or great experiences with them becomes millions their old, bad reputation will become a distant memory IF they can keep it up. Old generations will pass and new generations of employees and customers will emerge and that is where their focus ought to be. They do not need a rebranding now, they just don’t. Keep the focus on improving the experience and people will come to appreciate United as they do Delta, maybe shoot for better- and then one day freshen up the livery.
To those here who work for United today: your good job is being felt, wether it’s on the phone, in the air on the app or in a new seat. Once the old boring interiors are updated that will be the best form of branding- not the dated globe on the tail.
I sure hope Oscar and Kirby don’t spend tens of millions of dollars on a new livery, instead spend it on the experience your fliers have. Spend it on your employees and on renovation and new aircraft and new routes. It seems like that’s what they are doing and if flying United from point A to Z is great, then they will reap the financial rewards.
I think this is the problem. For me UA crews have always been unfriendly and standoffish, even in J. I've flown UA A LOT over the past 3 years, and I can tell you this is my impression. So let's count you as a positive, and count me as a slight negative (I agree with you that their overall service, timeliness, operational smoothness has been good to quite good). That's 2 people.
On WN, I'm almost universally astounded at how nice the overall crew is to me and how they are all smiling and "loose" and not at all standoffish. Maybe it's the corporate culture, maybe it's the shorter segments, maybe it's pay. Whatever it is, there is a distinct difference in my mind between UA and WN in terms of overall friendliness of the crews, gate agents, and ground staff. It'll take numerous very positive experiences to catch up to where WN is in my mind.
I agree, UA doesn't need a new livery at this point. What they need is to take steps to make their staff have a more positive vibe. Smile more. Be fun. Etc. I don't think I'm the only one who thinks this. And it DOES make a HUGE difference in what I think of the airline as a whole.