How Boeing named, promoted the MAX in early days...
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May 16, 2019 - by Scott Hamilton for leehamnews.com
Branding the re-engined airplane required retaining the 737 name, focusing on the commonality between the popular workhorse 737 NG, improvements over the NG and advantages over the neo.
Branding is always a struggle. Get the name, product and positioning right, and you have a winner. Get it wrong and you have an Edsel.
In those early days, Boeing had no reason to think there would be trouble in the distant future.
The MAX name wasn't a barn-burning winner, people told LNA at the time. But a better one could not be thought of.
The basis for the name evolved from the theme "maximum advantage"... Increased range, maximum takeoff weight, reduced fuel burn and—Boeing claimed—retained maximum advantage over the A320neo.
Maintaining the original 1968 certification of the 737-100 by the FAA was also important in the development of the MAX.
All subsequent versions of the 737 were known as minor model variations rather than becoming a new airplane requiring a new certification, which would add substantial costs and development time for Boeing and transition costs for the airlines.
Boeing was adamant that the MAX be so similar in design and flying characteristics that minimal pilot training and fleet preparation would be required by airlines...