8 years ago

New Expedia branding – why taglines are more than just a few words

Expedia has unveiled a new logo – an event usually of biblical proportions and almost guaranteed to get the advertising community to huff and puff over it for a few days.

The new logo has, in the words of one ad creative and branding blog, lost the “playfulness” of the old version in favour of a “dull and generic” rendering of an aircraft. They’re not very happy with the fonts either.

Tnooz Node Tim Hughes also suggests it marks a newer image for a new decade – “a world of darker hues and serious companies”.

expedia logo new

Little mention so far, however, has been made about the tagline: “Where You Book Matters.”

The most recent descriptor in the US was “Don’t Just Travel. Travel Right.”, while Expedia UK has been using “Let Yourself Go” for a number of years.

Expedia hasn’t said if the new logo and tag will extend around the world – in fact, Expedia generally has different messages for each country (“Disena Tu Propoio Viaje”, Design Your Own Trip on Expedia.es or “Le Voyage Que Je Veux”, The Trip That I Want for Expedia.fr).

The interesting point with the “Where You Book Matters.” tag – forgetting the irksome syntax – is that the focus is on the site, the Expedia brand, rather than the action or experience of travel.

The call to action is asking consumers to consider Expedia as the best place to book, because it “matters”, rather than because Expedia can safely take you on a dream holiday.

These subtle changes are obviously not at the whimsy of a few marketing execs crowded around the water cooler – branding agencies up and down Madison Avenue will spend days or weeks going through various exercises to get the tagline exactly right.

So what is Expedia saying?

It certainly appears that the strategy of using the action of travel – or the emotional draw of experiencing travel –  is far less important than the process a consumer takes, such as the booking element.

The bigger question, of course, is why the change?

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.





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  7. RobertKCole

    I personally don’t like the change – it seems Expedia has changed the focus to itself, rather than its customers.

    The tag line “Where you book matters” is just a generic comment – it does not inherently communicate a unique selling proposition, point of differentiation, or competitive positioning.

    Compare the Expedia’s new tag line to BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine” tagline. No contest. The great BMW tagline not only provides some perspective on why BMW is a better choice, but it also frames the customer experience. The second aspect is most important.

    For most consumers, WHAT you book matters a lot more than WHERE you book. There is less loyalty for travel sites than for travel brands.

    True progress will ultimately be made when the travel industry transitions its focus to WHY travelers book – and satisfy those needs.

    If a travel site can manage the WHY perspective properly, the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and HOW should be much easier tasks to address.

  8. Joe Ascanio

    As an experienced designer, particularly in the travel technology space, I can appreciate Expedia’s motives and efforts here. I think the new look is a welcome one. Admittedly, I am not much of a fan of the aircraft silhouette cutout over a blue globe. I think it is a tad cliche. However, the font use for the logo is a nice update – it says modern and light without trying too hard, and is immediately recognizable. The angled sans-serif can possibly become synonymous with the Expedia brand, and it is a much-needed “Web 2.0″ update in the face of competitor branding like Orbitz and Hotels.com.

    More importantly, though, is the tagline. In my opinion? Brilliant. The web has become inundated with travel options, especially with the emergence of aggregators like Kayak and Bing. The “Where You Book Matters” tag suggests a promise of service, not just price, from a well known company that helped to spearhead the emergence of online travel a decade ago.

  9. Andy Hayes | Travel Online Partners

    Ugh. Not a huge fan of the new line either. My first thought was “book? You mean books, like what you read? Huh?”

  10. Daniele Beccari

    I think it’s a very smart but oh so risky move.

    For the past few years it seemed like price was the only thing that mattered in online travel. Leveling a very complex playing field onnly on price is a lose-lose battle. Everyone loses except maybe Kayak.

    By using this tagline Expedia is seeding a different question in consumer’s mind: where you book matters, not just the price. Smart. So consumers are now told to focus on what really makes the difference if buying the same product at virtually the same price from X different sites.

    And the answer is… ? Well it’s a risky question, if people really start looking for the answer.

  11. Dennis Schaal

    Dennis Schaal

    Why the change? In short: discounting. The OTAs have given up on the dream of making the travel experience the be-all and end-all and fighting the commoditization of travel.

    In this climate, “Where You Book Matters” means come to Expedia.com where you can find the best deals because Expedia supposedly has the widest range of suppliers and can leverage its scale.

    When you look at it this way, “Where You Book Matters” is kind of a defeat. There is no brand loyalty, and it doesn’t matter that much where you book. Because you will probably book someplace else tomorrow.

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