BAA to relaunch Heathrow airport as a consumer brand

BAA, the world's leading airport company, is planning to relaunch Heathrow Airport as a consumer brand. Even as the brand positioning is being done, the airport operator is planning to sell-off its other major South East hub, Gatwick, as well as, potentially, Stansted.

BAA marketing and insight director Nick Adderley, who joined on a full-time basis last August is looking after related activities. He is the first marketer to control all aspects of BAA's marketing. Adderley, a former senior marketer at Sainsbury's and LoveFilm, is also looking into the prospect of a major ad campaign. The airport operator rolled out its first TV ads in Scotland last year.

Adderley is keen to develop 'Brand Heathrow' as a positive shopping and dining experience, as the airport poises itself for one of the aviation industry's biggest consumers battles. In addition, Adderley is set to increase collaborative marketing and promotions with Heathrow's primary airlines, which include British Airways, bmi and Virgin Atlantic.

The overhauled Heathrow brand identity, being created in collaboration with an undisclosed branding agency, will follow a similar theme to BAA's 'To fly for' logo.

BAA, which was acquired by a consortium led by Spanish construction group Ferro-vial in 2006, has pre-empted this by independently putting Gatwick up for sale, with Manchester Airport Group, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet among the parties rumoured to be planning bids.

The prospect of another major airport on the Thames Estuary is also believed to be a factor in positioning Heathrow as a consumer brand.