Delta

Delta
Project Summary

From Chapter 11 to America’s most awarded airline

The Ask
Can we elevate the air travel experience and revitalize a timeless but struggling brand?
old delta visual identity
old delta identity on plane ticket
old delta logo on side of airplane

It’s hard to imagine that less than a decade ago, Delta Air Lines was a company dealing with seemingly insurmountable economic challenges.

In a turbulent post-9/11 economy, the airline was grappling with record-high fuel prices, a takeover attempt, and nearly 18 months of bankruptcy. 

Just as Delta was facing economic challenges, so, too, were its customers. The market downturn meant every dollar mattered, and the typical passenger experience was often underwhelming and out-of-date. New experiences that were improving other industries weren’t flowing through into air travel.

Delta management understood that incremental organizational improvements would not be enough to turn the business around. Instead, they opted for a partner in Lippincott who could guide them through the next chapter: motivating 80,000 employees worldwide around a new shared vision and laying the foundation for a world-class airline.

new delta logo

Putting customers first

Our work centered around a future customer journey, anchored by the commitment to “make flying better.” We worked with Delta to develop a simple, ambitious purpose statement that could pull the company out of its current struggles and inspire a lifetime of growth, then brought the ambition to life. We emboldened Delta’s visual expression with a powerful red symbol and supergraphic. This new identity was translated onto aircraft and in major terminals virtually overnight.

new delta logo with name

Setting a new standard

We then worked with leadership to craft an end-to-end customer experience vision. Customer research informed our insights and helped leaders prioritize investments in the customer journey. Our shared vision included curated terminal environments and a reimagined flight experience, complete with thoughtful amenities and emerging technologies such as in-flight Wi-Fi and the Fly Delta app. The improvements were architected to help customers save time and enhance time. For example, for business travelers, who represent a large share of Delta’s revenue, we saved time by streamlining the check-in process and enhanced time by modernizing the Delta Sky Club. 

We left no touchpoint unturned. Could we turn the gate into a destination of its own? Could we surprise customers with a free snack cart for cancelled flights? Could we make the in-flight entertainment something passengers look forward to? Many of these customer engagements may seem routine today, perhaps even standard. But a decade ago, their arrival forever changed the industry. 

And to bring it all to life, we engaged employees throughout the organization, training them to deliver on the Delta brand through key service behaviors.

“It was a great privilege and learning opportunity to partner with Delta and their creative agencies to see our design system and experience vision brought to life in such groundbreaking ways.”

Adam Stringer
Partner, Design

mockup of new visual identity on side of airplane

delta airplane with new logo on it

We then worked with leadership to craft an end-to-end customer experience vision. Our shared vision included curated terminal environments and a reimagined flight experience, complete with thoughtful amenities and emerging technologies such as in-flight Wi-Fi and the Fly Delta app. And to bring it all to life, we engaged employees throughout the organization, training them to deliver on the Delta brand through key service behaviors.

passenger inflight eating delta meal service

delta app on apple watch

delta first class seating

A timeless brand gets a confident new beginning

Spurred by industry-leading innovations and a new service standard, Delta bounced back. 

In 2007, Delta ranked third third among its airline peers on the Fortune 500. Three years later, it was first. In 2015, Delta posted nearly $41 billion in revenues, up 6 percent from the previous year. Serving more than 180 million passengers every year, Delta continues to build off the brand vision we created together and remain an undisputed leader in both profitability and passenger satisfaction.

back of airplane with delta logo