Why ‘we know how’

We find out the inspiration behind Cathay Cargo’s rebrand and debut marketing campaign

Cathay’s General Manager, Brand, Insights and Marketing Communications, Edward Bell outlines the thought process behind rebranding Cathay Cargo and its first marketing campaign, ‘We Know How’.

Why is Cathay Cargo being rebranded?

Essentially, we needed to integrate Cathay Cargo into the Cathay master brand because it is one of our four lines of business at the Cathay Group: Premium Travel, Low-Cost Travel, Lifestyle and now Cargo. We also think this is the right time to shine a light on to Cathay Cargo because and in spite of the challenges of the pandemic, it helped keep global trade moving and supply chains running, all while investing in and improving its service and solutions. This has been recognised by the industry with a slew of awards. It has also offered the Cathay Group a financial lifeline and, to the point we are making in the launch campaign, it offered a real-world lifeline too. We felt there could be no better time to relaunch our Cathay Cargo brand, to celebrate its successes and to look forward to greater accomplishments.

What was the thought process behind the rebrand?

When it comes to marketing a brand, you need to identify a point of difference. So we had to look at what makes Cathay Cargo special. For me, having spent time with the team, what really stood out was their expertise and knowledge. This encompasses not just our experienced people here in Hong Kong and across the globe, but also the new digital technologies that are helping deliver excellent and reliable service to our cargo customers.

The Cathay Cargo rebrand also chimes with the wider Cathay ‘Move Beyond’ campaign. Move Beyond is about a purpose, ‘to move people forward in life’, and exceeding expectations – it’s a shorthand for service excellence. The same applies to Cathay Cargo, but we’ve added a new line that keeps it on brand but differentiates its particular objective: ‘Moving people forward in life by delivering cargo that matters to the world’ and the idea that ‘every shipment matters’.

What’s behind the ‘We know how’ campaign?

Cathay Cargo’s results speak for themselves in that it is the biggest cargo carrier at the world’s busiest cargo hub, but there’s an emotional side to it that is mostly unseen to us as consumers. I think there is still a childlike wonder and amazement about all things to do with aircraft, and that gave us the idea to peek inside and take a closer look at what we fly around the world in our giant distinctive Boeing 747 freighters.

Guests mingle around the hangar with the first new livery freighter as backdrop at the Cathay Cargo Rebranding event
Guests mingle around the hangar with the first new livery freighter as backdrop

So much of what Cathay Cargo carries has a real impact on people’s lives. It’s going by air because it’s needed quickly, or needs the protection and assurance of specialist handling. There is a story behind each shipment, and that’s where the magic lies. Look at the millions of doses of vaccines we flew that have saved lives across the planet. Or something more pleasurable, like the joy of eating new season oysters in a restaurant in Shanghai, or celebrating Chinese New Year in Hong Kong with succulent cherries from Tasmania. We want people to wonder how a champion racehorse from Europe arrives fresh and fit to run in the Hong Kong Cup, or how the latest sneakers and newest must-have tech get to the world’s shops at the same time. The answer is air cargo. None of these things are easy to ship and many have different requirements – one size does not fit all, but calls on that sense of expertise, and ‘we know how’ to do it.

What will the brand campaign look like?

The ‘We Know How’ campaign speaks to the magic of the goods we fly, and their importance to the people who ultimately receive them. It’s also a privileged peek into the inner sanctum of our freighters, to see everything up close – and it’s a chance to experience the expertise of our people and the technology they use to ensure every shipment arrives quickly and in perfect condition. Much of the imagery in the video and visuals are based around the shape and capacity of our freighter main decks and the shipments we carry to showcase Cathay Cargo’s expertise. It states that ‘we know how’ to make the difference in today’s air-cargo market, and this campaign shares that story with the wider world for the first time.