When the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA) was tasked with rebranding Memphis International Airport (MEM) from a Delta Air Lines hub to an origin and destination operations airport, they decided to take the time to figure out what public impression of the airport was and what they wanted it to be.
MEM partnered with a local marketing firm, RedRover, to tackle the rebranding, and they started with a lengthy discovery process of surveying stakeholders, passengers, and community leaders. Glen Thomas, Senior Manager of Strategic Communications and Community Outreach/PIO for MSCAA, says this process was key.
Thomas says that sometimes airport executives have blind spots. So RedRover and MSCAA spent months collecting information from groups of people at every level of airport operations.
They formed focus groups with community and business leaders. The airport tenants also formed focus groups to provide internal, as well as external, feedback on what needed to be improved and what people thought MEM’s passenger makeup was.
“Especially in today’s society where everything is instant gratification,” says Thomas, “one of the challenges was that several months after our marketing firm got the contract, we didn’t have a new logo. Some people were asking ‘what are you doing?’ But the data they [RedRover] obtained allowed us to find out what passengers wanted and then turn around, make those changes, and create this communication that shows ‘we’re doing exactly what you want’.”