Jetset Travelworld chief says franchisees won’t be billed for his rebrand of the company’s stores

Storefronts bearing the world ‘Harvey World Travel’, ‘Jetset’ or ‘Travelworld’ will soon be a thing of the past, as the company that owns the brands has announced a brand makeover that’ll see all its stores renamed ‘Helloworld’.

The rebrand comes three years after the Jetset Travelworld and Stella Travel Service $440 million merger in 2010, which saw a range of brands come under the umbrella of the current, listed company, Jetset Travelworld Group.

JTG chief executive Rob Gurney told SmartCompany this morning that the rebrand will help the company leverage its massive scale into consumer recognition. “We’re a very substantial travel business when you aggregate it,” he said. “But if you look at it through a consumer lens, what the consumer sees is highly segmented brands of which they have varying levels of awareness.”

Most JTG stores are owned by franchisees, but they won’t be billed for the rebrand, Gurney said. “We will fund the entry-level fit-out for a rebrand of a store,” he said. The first stores with the new name are expected to be launched early next year.

Gurney said while the company will engage in extensive discussions with franchisees throughout August about the rebrand, the 150 franchisers he spoke to in forming the new strategy were supportive. “What emerged from those conversations was a very strong consensus towards moving to a single brand and a new brand.”

The rebrand will make JTG’s marketing spend more effective to boot, he said, by providing franchises with a “greater share of voice through digital channels, on TV and radio, in print and in partnership with our suppliers”.

As part of the rebrand, JTG has also entered into a long-term agreement with American company Orbitz to use its digital platform to support the company’s online offering.

“Orbitz is a very successful online travel business,” Gurney said. “They’re extremely well-run, they’ve got great technology, and their mobile applications are market-leading products. We felt speed-to-market was crucial, so we think it’s the right digital platform for us, rather than developing one ourselves.

“It’ll work with our retail stores, providing the consumer with the ability to engage with the brand online. That’ll help us build a multi-channel business, which is clearly what consumers want. That’ll provide an opportunity for our members to participate in that high-growth segment, which they’re not getting much benefit from at the moment.”

In a statement, major shareholder Qantas said it supported the company’s new direction. “Consolidating [JTW’s] retail assets around a new brand and creating a stronger online offering puts the business in a better position to meet the needs of the travel trade and consumers,” Qantas CFO Gareth Evans said.


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