‘Gear change’ for Aer Rianta as it reveals new B2B and B2C brand identity

By Luke Barras-hill |

Ray Hernan, CEO, ARI: “This marks a gear change for our business; not only are we identifying our unique proposition, brand values and behaviours, we’re embracing and celebrating them.”

Aer Rianta International (ARI) launched its bold new corporate and consumer-facing visual identity today (22 February).

Dubbed ‘Joy on Your Way’, the refreshed, contemporary brand expression is the culmination of more than 18 months of strategic development.

It harmonises the travel retailer’s messaging through the lens of its strategic ambitions, vision, mission and Customer Value Proposition (CVP).

In a statement, the Dublin-headquartered firm insists the new ARI brand positioning is a ‘first’ for the industry by grasping the power of human connection across all elements of the company.

“This marks a gear change for our business,” commented ARI Chief Executive Officer Ray Hernan. “Not only are we identifying our unique proposition, brand values and behaviours, we’re embracing and celebrating them.

“It provides a distinctive proposition and a further point of difference from our competitors; it makes us the business that people want to work with, and we have the track record to prove it. We’re serious about joy, and we’re serious about driving growth.”

A fusion of strengths

Behind the new brand framework is a distillation of ARI’s brand characteristics, values and behaviours, which build on its vision of being the partner of choice and the globe’s favourite airport retailer.

Extensive stakeholder and customer research combined with collaboration across the business uncovered ‘Joy’ as ARI’s so-called ‘secret sauce’.

The ‘Thread of Joy’ is a core component of the new visual identity, symbolising the strands of joy in the world that are weaved through  travel and human connections.

In its own words, ARI describes Joy as ‘dynamic and energetic, bold and confident – reflective of a modern progressive travel retailer with ambitious growth plans’.

This is designed to play through in a new logo designed to portray a subtle sense of movement with a primary colourway including a new core red against a woven gradient.

It was commissioned to denote all the strands of joy across the world, embracing travel and human connection in an energetic, dynamic and lively thread.

ARI says its Customer Value Proposition is an integral component for delivering ‘Joy’, which it calls its ‘secret sauce’. 

Importantly, ARI is merging its B2B and B2C brand universes to provide clarity, cohesion and consistency of experience for customers, partners and consumers alike.

ARI’s much-touted Customer Value Proposition, launched in 2020, offers a strategic backdrop for achieving ‘Joy’ by removing barriers and enhancing the retail experience through innovative global practices.

Paul Pryor has been appointed Chief Joy Ambassador.

Paula Pryor to drive ‘Joy’

Anthony Kenny, Chief Commercial Officer and Deputy CEO, ARI said: “Our relationship with our customers and our partners is not simply transactional: it is emotional.

“We understand their needs and their challenges, and our Customer Value Proposition was created to address these needs and challenges: it is our formula for joy.

“And of course, it is our people who deliver on our CVP and make Joy On Your Way a reality. We have pioneered travel retail for over 75 years – we’re now elevating our industry once again by showing the importance of human connection in all that we do.”

Laura Toner, Global Head of Marketing, ARI added: “I am delighted to unveil the results of many months of extensive work in developing ARI’s new brand identity and brand expression.

“We’re breathing a new energy into our business as well as into the industry. Our brand is now one of our strongest assets. It’s charmingly confident, relatably human and powerfully emotive – exactly what we are as a business.

“As well as embodying this through our corporate brand, this is also expressed through our new consumer-facing brand identity, meaning as a business we are fully aligned in our brand communication. In-store and digitally, we have a new creative experience for our customers with vibrant and engaging branding.

“It’s clear and simple, highlighting all that is great about ARI and the travel retail experience, from great value and savings to travel retail exclusives. We’re excited to really elevate our offering and welcome customers into this new brand world.”

People, culture and expertise plays a strong part in the transformation, with Paula Pryor appointed as Chief Joy Ambassador to the business.

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The newly created role, which serves to embody the refreshed brand expression of ‘Joy on Your Way’, will task Pryor with ensuring ‘Joy’ is delivered across the business – from the working environment to training and best-in-class customer service.

“As travel retailers we have such an important and unique role to play in the passenger journey by creating moments of joy,” said Paula Pryor, Chief Joy Ambassador, ARI.

“Airports are uniquely home to all spectrums of human emotion, but at ARI we don’t just observe – we are active orchestrators of joy for passengers. I am so excited to work with our amazing teams to bring Joy On Your Way to life across the business, with a clearly defined roadmap to achieve our company vision.”

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