Carnival announced recently that it was replacing its current CEO, Micky Arison, with Arnold W. Donald. It is also time to replace its aging “Fun Ship” brand.
Carnival has been hammered over the past year with a series of problems with its ships. This has had a chilling effect throughout the cruise industry, but has really hit Carnival in particular.
Unless you were planning to go on “Survivor: The Cruise Ship Edition,” the prospect of getting stuck on an inoperable cruise ship certainly doesn’t pay off the “Fun Ship” brand Carnival has tried so hard to create.
But really, my issues with Carnival’s brand date earlier than its recent problems. I just really don’t know how a brand promise of “Fun Ship” differentiates Carnival from its competitors. After all, aren’t all cruises supposed to be fun?
Fun as a promise is just a restatement of what all cruising is supposed to be. In and of itself, it is not a reason to choose. Think of it this way, would any competitor claim to be the “Not Fun Ship?” Not intentionally, of course, so therefore “fun” is a product benefit of the entire category.
Carnival should take this time to reset its brand like it is resetting its CEO. I have no doubt, based upon the historical success of Carnival, that Mr. Donald is very capable. But Carnival’s problems are far deeper than just its CEO.