Sunday, April 06, 2008

Expedia and the death of the dotcom


A brand refresh has come out of Seattle in the last week or so. Without much fanfare we can see a softening in the curves and tone of the Expedia Brand. As a trusted reader put it "a subtle change in the font, to make it easier to read...more inspiring". Not sure about the inspiring part but I did notice a subtle but I think critical change in the new logo. In the US Expedia site, the logo no longer contains the domain. As well as a font change, Expedia US has in effect changed it's name from Expedia.com to simply - Expedia.

In the early days the ".com" part was critical. It told consumers exactly where they could find Expedia. It also told customers that Expedia was part of the travel revolution. But in 2008, Expedia has the call centre phone number as prominent on the website as the booking engine, has owned a top offline wholesaler (Classic Vacations) for more than 6 years and has joined with Cruise Ship Centers International Inc. to launch co-branded stores (seekingalpha story) - that is right an offline physical location. All of this is clearly telling the Marketing people at Expedia that "dotcom" is dead.

Makes some sense - the US market has crossed the 50% threshold (ie majority of leisure market is online). There is no need to convince consumers that online is good. Online is now just normal. There is no need to include in the logo a mechanism to identify that the company can be found online when in the US market - every single company can be found online.

Expedia in the UK is not yet convinced. They have taken on the brand change but are keeping the domain. But then the UK has not hit 50% (yet). Thanks to a reader for the UK logo comparison picture that beats the pants out of my old versus new efforts with the US logo.

5 comments:

Neil MacLean said...

That reminds me how hard we had to fight to have "UK" included in the Expedia brand for the British version. Redmond wasn't keen at all but once we added consolidated fares and package holidays (alien concepts to the US traveller) not mention deals with the FT, Telegraph etc, it really was a very different animal from the .com version and deserved the UK tag.

Anonymous said...

agree with need to use UK for easy market identification, but dropping the dotcom is not anything new among the big 3 in the US -- Travelocity and Orbitz have had this for years. Note that Expedia IT, ES and DE remain with the pale yellow old schema...

Chase said...

Your blog is great. Traveling has become an integral part of my life. I have traveled to more than 20 countries of the world and every time it was new experience. New in terms of culture, nature, people as well as a travel agency. Out of 20 agencies that I have already worked with only 4-6 were great, others- a real rip off. I have also dealt with Expedia.com, one of the most popular travel websites. I learned about it from www.pissedconsumer.com. I will not say a word about the agency go to www.pissedconsumer.com and read what customers say.

Sanzzi said...

Great article. I know this is a post from April, so probably won't get many responses, but I have a question. Do you (or any reader) happen to know the name of the font used in the new Expedia logo? Thanks!

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