In October 2017, two of the UK and Ireland’s leading travel brands, Thomson and Falcon, were set to rebrand to TUI and complete the master brand’s strategy of aligning the customer experience with one brand across all markets.
The UK is the largest market for TUI with ambitious growth targets over the next 3-5 years, so the company had to quickly raise brand awareness across the UK & Ireland for the rebrand to be a success. As well as investing in an external marketing campaign, it also looked to develop an aligned internal communications plan to engage its 12,000 colleagues.
It was important that colleagues felt part of the change, so they would be willing to let go of Thomson and Falcon and embrace the world of TUI. Some colleagues had worked for the legacy brands for over 30 years. Therefore, a shift in culture was also required to ensure everyone began thinking and behaving as a global brand.
In 2016, the internal communications team conducted research in the form of a TUI Pulse survey, which thousands of colleagues completed. It found there was a high level of awareness of the rebrand, but the understanding of the reasons for rebranding was lower than the company wanted. Colleagues also felt they did not have the tools available to help them and their colleagues through the change.
This would be one of the biggest change programmes the business had ever seen and communication was going to be complex as its 12,000 colleagues were located in over 600 shops, 23 regional airports, engineering bases, contact centres and offices across the UK and Ireland.
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