Published on Monday, October 21, 2019

Brand expert on Thomas Cook collapse

Was Thomas Cook's brand tarnished before it crashed and did this contribute to its demise?

Brand specialist Jason Triandafyllou of Designate argues that in recent years it had lost its way and forgotten what it meant to 'don't just book it, Thomas Cook it'.

He says the re-brand in 2013, during which the holiday giant dropped its familiar slogan and replaced it with 'Let's go' - and a new 'sticking plaster' logo - was more of a re-badge and did nothing to reignite the failing brand.

Here he talks to TravelMole's Graham McKenzie about the erosion of Thomas Cook's reputation and what Hays Travel, which bought its 555 shops, needs to do to continue to thrive.


Triandafyllou added: "This was a truly courageous move by John and Irene Hays and it has thrust them into the national, indeed, international spotlight.

"They have a massive opportunity, to replace the tarnished and mistreated brand of Thomas Cook with their own, and to prove, as true champions of the high street, there is a place for real people, delivering holidays which people actually value. There is a lot of goodwill towards them, and this is the intrinsic power of brand."

Highlighting the need for travel retailers to offer knowledge and empathy, particularly in the aftermath of the Cook collapse, Triandafyllou added: "For a truly good customer experience, you simply cannot beat dealing with real human beings".

"By keeping this human element, focussing on what made Hays Travel successful for so many years, John and Irene have an incredible opportunity to build an exciting, trusted brand, out of the ashes of Thomas Cook.

"Here at Designate, we are brand evangelists; and we see the foundations of a strong brand with Hays Travel. Travel businesses must lift their heads out of the spreadsheet and remember they are brokering hopes, dreams and aspirations. These companies are dealing with perceptions, reputation and promises. In other words, they are nothing without a strong, responsible and credible brand proposition.

"Godspeed John and Irene. We hope to see you and your brand centre stage for many years and decades to come."

Releated stories:

John and Irene Hays receives tens of thousands of letters from well-wishers

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