MWAA Brand & Marketing Strategy

See how a comprehensive rebrand and marketing strategy can redefine a travel industry leader.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Brand and Marketing Strategy

In late 2014, The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) commissioned the McGinn and Company team to research and develop a brand and marketing strategy and go-to-market plan. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) manages two airports in Washington D.C. – Reagan National and Dulles. The McGinn team partnered with Repass Research and Auge+Gray+Drake in a multi-phase research and strategy development project with mission-critical objectives of creating a brand and go-to-market strategy; redirecting travelers to experiences the airport can control; enhancing traveler experience; and increasing non-aeronautical revenues. This plan continues to be the foundation for the branding, marketing and go-to-market strategies and is currently being implemented. 


The Research

Working with the MWAA leadership and the McGinn team, Repass Research recommended and deployed a three-phase research and strategy engagement. The three phases included a mix of qualitative and quantitative research to meet the objectives within each phase: Background and Discovery (management interviews, travel press analysis, secondary research); Formative and Evaluative Research (traveler QualBoard, traveler segmentation, concept testing and employee research); Strategy and Creative (strategy and ideation workshop, go-to-market strategy and more).

The project included a 360 degree view, including internal and external stakeholders along with secondary data analysis. The audience and sample ranged from internal management and employees to various traveler segments such as business and leisure, all of whom participated in either qualitative or quantitative research.

  • 160+ Interactive Conversations
  • 1,100+ Survey Responses
  • 170+ Reviewed Articles

 This research delivered a unified brand strategy across all touchpoints (airports, toll roads, metro line, etc.). A go-to-market strategy and investment priorities were clearly understood and accepted across internal stakeholder groups.

This research and the Airport Brand Marketing Strategy and Go-To-Market Plan provided a tactical foundation that includes: 

  • Situational Analysis
  • Air Traveler Insights
  • Airport and Air Travel Trends
  • Airport Brand Insights – Dulles International and Reagan National
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Internal Perspectives
  • MWAA Business Objectives
  • Brand Strategy Objectives
  • Airport Marketing Objectives
  • Traveler Segmentation Strategy
  • Target Market Strategy
  • Airport Positioning
  • Communications Strategy
  • Brand Architecture and Brand Drivers
  • Go-to-Market Plan
  • Launch Planning and Communications
  • Marketing and Paid Media Strategy Recommendations
  • Product and Service Ideas and Recommendations

Brand Identity and Brand Launch

An important foundational aspect of the Airport Brand Marketing Strategy and Go-To-Market Plan was to establish an identity system and brand standards for the various entities within the MWAA organization. This was a research driven process, utilizing consumer focus group testing to help drive the best outcome. A naming structure, a visual identity, common logo, tagline and brand identity standards were developed.

Brand Launch

The McGinn and Auge+Gray+Drake team worked closely with the MWAA communications team to work through the process of brand identity transition and integration. This involved everything from internal communications to signage and stationery updates.

This change also marked the launch of the new brand to the greater community. This was a carefully choreographed plan that culminated in internal brand launch events, press events and media coverage, launch of new websites produced by the internal team as well as paid media launch.

Upon completion of the Airport Brand Marketing Strategy and Go-To-Market Plan and the launch of the new brands, the McGinn and Auge+Gray+Drake team was then hired to implement the marketing and media strategy portion of the plan, including media, marketing, advertising and promotional services regionally, nationally and internationally.