HIGH FLYING BRANDS
MARKETING IN THE SKY
BY JAGDEEP KAPOOR
Flying across the Atlantic, in a British Airways flight, one can see the international level of service, which is provided at 33,000 feet by the airhostess while serving dinner. The impeccable way of making the meal a pleasant experience is one of the elements of marketing in the sky.
Flying at 36,000 feet on a Singapore Airlines flight across the Indian ocean one can see the in-flight staff readily offering duty free goods for sale and facilitating the process in an easy manner, this is another element of marketing in the sky through interaction.
Taking off in the early morning hours, Jet Airways flight carrying Executives from Mumbai to Delhi, experience the comfort in the Business Class with more leg space and a wonderfully served breakfast. The quality of service and the personal touch of the staff and the process of getting feedback towards the end of the flight is another element of marketing in the sky at work.
These brands are highflying brands who practice marketing in the sky. I would like to discuss nine elements related to marketing in the sky, keeping in mind highflying brands.
The nine elements are
The first element of marketing in the sky is related to branding.
- In-flight entertainment
- In-flight Servicing
- Sales and Advertising
- Demand Generation
- Comfort in the air
- Feedback in the Air
Consumers buy brands and not products of services hence, it is important for Airlines to appropriately brand their product and service so that it can be memorable and it can be easily recalled by the consumer. It is interesting to note that the brand name, the logo, the colours are chosen with care to project the right image. Branding is critical to be a high flying brand, whether on the ticket jacket or on the aircraft itself.
The second element is the element of service. Customer service is of great significance to the traveller and many a time the choice of the brand depends on the service. Consumers have become very demanding and would like to get world class service at every moment. It could be service at ground level, through the journey or after landing. The traveller is justified in expecting excellent service because he or she has to travel across long distances and at odd hours.
The third element is related to having a modern fleet with the best features and also the kind of aircraft chosen keeping in mind both safety and facilities. Good high flying brands are constantly looking for the latest and most modern aircraft to serve their customers.
The fourth element is related to in-flight entertainment. The kind of TV monitor as well as the personalized facility does make a difference to the traveller in liking or disliking a high flying brand. The range of channels, both audio and video as well as interactive options including gaming makes the travellerís flight a delightful experience. This helps the traveller pass his journey in a pleasurable manner rather than a tedious manner.
The fifth element of marketing in the sky for high flying brands is related to in-flight service. This is one of the most delicate and sensitive tasks which has to performed by the brand marketeers. Not only have the hostesses and the service professionals to be gracious but they also have to be alert, vigilant and caring. Here the selection of the airline of the right personnel along with regular training makes all the difference in making the brand a truly high flying brand.
The sixth element of successful high flying brands is related to sales and advertising. I do not mean the sales and advertising at the ground level but literally at the air level. In-flight advertising is gaining ground and in-flight shopping whether domestic or duty free, is capturing the interest of the travellers. The consumer definitely looks at the range and participates in the purchase decisions, proper attention needs to be given here.
The seventh element relates to demand generation. This is at the ground level wherein the brands benefits are advertised through various media to attract consumers towards the brand. Here the creative and the choice of media should be carefully selected.
The eighth element relates to comfort in the air whether it be more leg space or the appropriate pillow or blanket, consumers would like to travel in comfort. Therefore airlines have to be very careful in providing an environment which is conducive to a comfortable journey in the air.
Finally the ninth element is the all important feedback to be collected in the air, just before the flight is about to land so that the brand can genuinely improve as well as strengthen its strengths.
High flying brands who practice marketing in the sky need to be careful not to fall in the eyes of the consumers, but instead, rise high and meet the consumers expectations thereby building a winning brand.
The author is Brand Guru Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.
Copyright © 2007 All rights reserved with Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
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