In 1994, Vancouver International Airport formed Vancouver Airport Services (YVRAS) as an entrepreneurial experiment into the business of airport privatisation.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) had transitioned to the private sector two years prior and the idea of private operators entering an industry traditionally maintained and managed by the federal government was still a relatively new concept in Canada and throughout most of the world.
Capitalising on trends in private management, ownership and investment developed by the airport authority at YVR, Vancouver Airport Services quickly began leveraging and adapting the award-winning airport’s experience, best practices and differentiating concepts (such as showcasing each airport’s unique ‘sense of place’) and applying them throughout the world.
Fast forward nearly 20 years to 2012: YVRAS, now an industry leading manager, developer and investor of airports worldwide, unveils its new name, Vantage Airport Group, and brand image – one that better reflects the company’s worldwide network while still highlighting its roots in the award-winning YVR.
According to Vantage’s senior director of communications and marketing, Rebecca Catley: “Vantage was formed as an entrepreneurial endeavour and was one of the first companies to enter the business of airport privatisation.
“As our history is inextricably linked to YVR, it was important for us to create an identity that would honour our origins. At the same time, we’d grown up and wanted to mark our independence and maturity as a business.”
A ‘brand’ new world
At the beginning of the rebranding exercise, Vantage conducted qualitative research that began with a series of interviews with employees, partners and shareholders.
“We believed our brand didn’t need to be created, but rather revealed,” says Catley. “It was important for us to understand how our brand was being talked about in the real world, so that any new representation would be consistent with our past.”
Under the YVRAS brand, there was a degree of confusion within the aviation industry and general public. With the distinctive ‘YVR’ in the name, it was assumed the company either operated the award-winning airport or, was a wholly-owned subsidiary – both of which were understandable misconceptions given that Vancouver Airport Authority was and remains an equity shareholder in the company.
What the research revealed was the shared passion, innovation and ingenuity of the company and its people.
It also identified that the company’s global presence provided a unique opportunity for sharing best practices across its network. These findings led way to the company’s name, and logo brand promise: Passionate about people, performance and place.
More than a name and logo
As for the name, it connects to the company’s strong Vancouver heritage and plays on the word advantage. In addition, a vantage point represents a view from above, or a cut above the competition.
The logo is inspired by a departure, and in the negative space, a check mark indicates a methodical and detail-oriented approach and doubles as an aircraft taking off. It connotes rising values, forward thinking and new possibilities. The attributes of the brand are balanced but dynamic, credible, positive and positioned for growth.