P&O unveils new brand identity

P&O Cruises is poised to unveil new simplified brand identity, admitting that in the past it has offered trade partners a too complex and confused message.

The revised positioning is based on what the operator will promote as the fundamental attributes of a cruise with the UK’s leading line.

It comes after customer and staff research, and the appointment in 2009 of managing director Carol Marlow, previously president of sister line Cunard.

Presentations and training of staff on ships has started and the line is preparing to unveil the new branding to trade partners, together with a major TV advertising campaign in December.

Philip Price, P&O Cruises’ head of brand marketing, said: “There is a sense that we have overcomplicated what P&O Cruises means. We asked too much of our travel agents to understand it fully. They want to know where the ship is going and what sort of experience their clients are going to have.”

Previously, P&O Cruises has promoted each ship in its fleet differently, targeting them at the family market, the contemporary sector or more traditional cruisers.

However, Price said the new positioning focused on the line’s three key attributes.

“We came up with three very clear things that became our brand promises. We are very ‘British’ – but that is today’s Britain, not an anachronism; we are ‘trusted’; and we offer a ‘holiday of a lifetime’. Those words came from our customers.”

The new branding goes live online and on TV on December 1, before which agents will be sent packs detailing the new messaging with lists setting out what each ship offers and how the three promises are met by aspects of every P&O Cruises sailing.

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