In the mid 90s the market share of budget airlines grew from zero to 5%, in under two years. Recognising the potential of this market, British Airways decided to set up a business to compete with the budget operators.
The new airline would be a separate company with its own name, identity, management and employees. Wolff Olins was appointed to create the name and identity for the airline in association with HHCL, a leading UK advertising agency.
Wolff Olins developed the new airline’s name and brand so that it reflected its objectives and values – to save travellers time and money so that they can just ‘Go’ wherever they want, without fuss or bother. The brand was fresh, simple and direct but not crudely cost-conscious or downmarket like some of its competitors. ‘Go’ was also chosen because it was pronounceable and understood throughout Europe.
Like Orange and First Direct before it, ‘Go’ was another Wolff Olins brand that transformed its market, forcing a higher quality customer offer onto a poorly differentiated sector. When, in June 2001, British Airways sold the airline to 3i, it brought a return of £100 million on a £25 million investment. One year later, in May 2002, easyJet bought Go for £374million.