Tui Group confirmed it will adopt Tui as a single global brand today, saying the process could take “five to 10 years”.
Fritz Joussen, Tui joint chief executive, told investors and analysts in the City of London today: “We decided to migrate to one brand. Our belief is a global brand scales better than many [brands].”
But Joussen added: “We must be very careful not to destroy local brand equity.”
He insisted it would be “a careful process” as he outlined two phases of ‘brand migration’, beginning in the Netherlands, France and Belgium.
The UK will fall in phase two of the programme, with the Thomson brand giving way to Tui.
Joussen said: “We will start with a Tui.com site in the UK long before we start the rebrand of Thomson. We don’t do the full-fledged rebranding now.”
He added: “I don’t think it is a big risk. The Tui smile is known in all our main markets. It is a bit like when you have an old house and you decide to renovate it a little. It is the right thing to do.
“You over-estimate the risks and underestimate the benefits. Rebranding is always a chance to reach new customers.”
Peter Long, who is joint chief executive with Joussen, said: “We are going to do this in a very measured and controlled way.
“We will start in Continental Europe and learn from that, and the UK will be last.”
Long added: “There is already a close association with the Tui smile. It is not a completely different brand.”
Asked why the UK would be last to see the rebrand, Long said: “It’s the size of the UK business. I don’t want to put our business at risk.”