This Farelogix-penned article originally appeared on Terrapin’s Blue Sky blog.
They had better! We’ve all heard that in real estate it’s location, location, location – not price, not color, not size – that sells. Sure all those other things have an impact on consumers’ willingness to buy, but make no mistake; it’s location that sells. And in the airline world, the mantra needs to be brand, brand, brand, not just whose got the lowest price. The success of creative airline merchandising reinforces that the buying decision encompasses a lot more factors—schedule, route structure, network, loyalty program, in-flight services, and all the services/options that make up a traveler’s desired trip experience. What do we call that collection of things in the mind of the traveler? Your Brand!
Now I am over doing it a bit to make my point, but an airline’s brand is significantly important, and yet it is far too often considered an afterthought, relegated to the world of logos and paint jobs (of course, they count too) or erroneously labeled per airline category such as Low Cost Carrier (LCC) or Premium Service Carrier. As many of us prepare to attend this month’s World Low Cost Airline Congress, it’s appropriate to point out the danger of talking about LCCs as if they all share the same “low cost” brand because like every other airline, Low Cost airlines have a range of differing brands and even sub-brands. There’s low cost and fun (remind you of anyone?), low cost and vacation spot oriented, low cost and comfortable, bare bones low cost (the now defunct SkyBus comes to mind here), and so forth. And that’s just skimming the surface of how one airline chooses to differentiate itself from others.
So let’s assume you have clearly established your airline Brand (with a capital B!), and you’ve managed to successfully reflect that Brand in everything your target customer hears about you, buys from you, and experiences with you… in good times and in bad. You’re set up to drive loyalty and repeat ancillary and merchandising revenue through that Brand. Sounds good, right? Read the rest of this entry »