AIRPORT MANAGEMENT

A Stepwise Guide to Re-position your Airline Brand amid the Pandemic

Anusree Bhattacharya | September 13, 2021 | 10 views

Hit by the impact of the COVID-19 slump, airline businesses are enduring a major crisis no matter how recognized they were before. The crisis has pushed airline businesses to re-look at how to manage and operate their operations.  It even includes re-positioning in the airline industry’s competitive market landscape.

In a time like this, you need to delve deep when you update your airline brand positioning strategy. Your marketing team will have to be versatile and adapt to a new set of planning strategies. They should be mindful of aspects to reduce risks and overcome challenges that the pandemic caused. It’s time to rise again through hindrances that affected your airline brand image to go down. Let’s throw some light on why brand positioning in marketing has become necessary now.

Importance of Re-positioning of an Airline Brand

Brand positioning in marketing is receiving snowballing attention in airline marketing today. Adopting versatile branding concepts creates optimism to provide value to products and services. And such concepts help products and services to perform well on various distribution channels.

The values play an active role in brand positioning and so in re-positioning. Since customers’ activities have transformed in the new era of digitalization, deciding afresh on values will help you position your brand for the future. The branding must include a proper blend of physical and emotional values to make the brand both powerful and meaningful.

When faced with challenges, it’s natural for even large airline businesses to become unrecognizable by customers. Thus, showcasing your brand as unique as possible becomes hard-hitting to differentiate from the competition. In that case, the idea of re-positioning requires consistent branding strategies. The strategies can help in many ways. A few of them are maintaining customer loyalty, encourage awareness, and showing customers your presence in the market.

Therefore, to build deeper relationships with customers by re-positioning your airline brand, there are some important steps to follow. The stepwise guide will help in creating a competent brand positioning framework development. But remember, the framework should be defendable for growth.

6 Steps to Follow: Re-position your Airline Brand

Determine your Values

Start by considering the values that will represent your airline business brand. By finding the values, it will make you different from the rest of the competitors. Especially in a case where you are going for product marketing or service as an ordinary in the market or marketing it extraordinarily.

Your aim gives you essential insight into what and how to go with the brand again in the new normal. Thus, try to analyze and research aspects of your competitors as well.

We fight every day to stand out. We know our customers like to sound and feel authentic about brands. So, we believe that instead of building a complex picture of our airline brand (where no one will be able to understand), we prefer humanization.

- Kevin Krone, the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Southwest Airlines.

In realizing this aspect, your marketing team can innovate by creating campaigns to improve brand image.

Identify the Competitors Surrounding and Research

After recognizing the brand values, it’s requisite to analyze competitors serving in the market as you. You can do it by performing competitor analysis. The analysis will help to decide how better you can do in creating your brand positioning strategy.

To start with it, there are different methods for determining your competition. They are:

Do a thorough competitor research

You can take guidance from your sales team to study what and how competitors develop their distinctive ideas with sales. Then, identify them through in-depth market research on their tactics of positioning their brand. To conduct it, include the following points into your research:
  • What are the services or products competitors do offer?
  • What are the brand positioning strategies they are using to ensure success?
  • What is the current position of their brand in the market?
It will be easy for you to set your aim to re-position your airline brand by putting these considerations forefront.

Take Feedbacks from customers
Connect with your existing and potential customers. Try to know what services or products they are considering according to the present scenario.

Use the power of social media

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Quora, Facebook, and other online forums offer interaction with consumers. You can ask questions about products and services. Use these forums to discover competitors in your role.

Find your Brand’s Uniqueness

Building a unique brand image (by keeping a similar aim as before) will make you different from the competitors in the airline industry.

We are the same exact airline that we were before. We are not walking away from our DNA.

- Kevin Krone

Your well-researched step on competitors will help to learn about branding patterns in the new normal. In addition, by looking at their weaknesses and strengths, you might get a chance to know your strength. This aspect will make your brand unique.

Develop a Re-positioning Statement

Once you know your customers' thoughts, you need to develop a statement that portrays your message. If you aim to convey that your business offers the best services or products in the market during the current economic slump, then it’s imperative to keep a razor-sharp focus on a brand positioning strategy.

For example, you can include your ROI data. Use it as a statement in online paid ads, social media platforms, campaigns, emails, and other marketing methods. By doing this, you will be able to grab your existing and potential customers’ attention. And see how potential ones become loyal towards your business in no time.

There’s no definite way to re-position your existing airline brand in times of the pandemic. But there are some crucial ways to do it. The ways are customizing efforts enable significant chances to offer quality services and products to reach customers.

Test your Re-positioning Statement—if it works!

Once your re-positioning statement is formed, it’s time to test it. Try to do experiments with the help of feedback collection from customers. The feedbacks should cover if they are conveyed with the right message. Therefore, in this way, you can know whether your brand achieved its goal or not.

As you invest effort and time into re-positioning your airline brand, it’s helpful to keep in mind the type of consumers, demographic segmentation, and verticals. These verticals provide a deep insight that content and its aim remain advantageous to your brand.

Develop your Brand’s Reference Frame

Your brand’s reference will be an accurate way for customers to perceive it in the right way. Having a genuine brand positioning framework today is vital for re-positioning. And with the help of an on-point brand development strategy, you can plan it extraordinarily. Once you have created the frame of your brand, it is advisable to keep a focus on reaching achievable goals.

Successful Re-positioning Efforts Drives Growth

As you are aware that a strong branding of an airline business makes all the difference when you enter the market, similarly, re-positioning also makes a difference when you have to outshine again amid challenges. So, having a definite approach will ensure success for your brand and drive growth amid the ongoing pandemic challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can airline businesses improve their brand image?

An airline business runs with a multitude of functionalities. Every function plays a responsible role in improving the brand image. Thus, some crucial ways are discussed below:
  • Create the right message which should be synonymous with brand value or perspective
  • Stay in contact with customers through various marketing ways
  • Keep track of strategies and implementation
  • Turn data into intelligence
  • Keep an eagle eye on competitors and their activities
  • Keep employees in the loop

What are the best branding strategies for airline businesses?

The best branding strategies for airline businesses are as follows:
  • Cost control strategies
  • Social media campaigns
  • Creative advertisement
  • Loyalty programs
  • Use power of influencers

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As the latest addition to Inmarsat’s market-leading portfolio of business aviation inflight connectivity services, SwiftJet will be available alongside Jet ConneX (JX) and SwiftBroadband (SBB), which have been activated on thousands of jets worldwide. JX is the most popular and widely-adopted premium, high-speed solution available today, powered by a global constellation of Ka-band satellites. Additionally, SBB offers speeds of 432Kbps over L-band using smaller antennas that are suitable as a secondary system to JX or as primary connectivity for smaller or older aircraft. SwiftJet uses advanced hardware from Inmarsat’s partner Honeywell, which can be equipped on a broad range of aircraft and also supports cockpit and safety services. Existing customers of Inmarsat’s SBB service will benefit from a natural upgrade path without needing to replace any externally-mounted aircraft equipment, while new customers will experience the same ease of installation as with any Inmarsat L-band terminal. The service also creates new opportunities in the smaller jet market, which have previously been restricted to basic voice or text connectivity that fails to meet the needs of modern day travellers. It is available to pre-order through Honeywell, with additional incentives in an early adopter campaign. Inmarsat is launching the ground-breaking service at a critical time for the business aviation industry. Following a period of turbulence over the past two years due to the global pandemic, a recent survey by Inmarsat and Corporate Jet Investor (CJI) found that almost 80% of respondents around the world believe more frequent business aviation flights will be taken in the next year. Furthermore, a staggering 90% feel that online activities will dominate the principals’ time in the air, split between business and leisure. Inmarsat prides itself on delivering services that meet the unique and fast-evolving requirements of our customers. As the market leader in business aviation connectivity, Inmarsat developed SwiftJet in response to customer and partner feedback for a faster, more advanced L-band offering. They essentially asked us to amplify L-band capabilities without losing its trademark characteristics of resilience, reliability and availability. Kai Tang, Inmarsat’s Head of Business Aviation “I am proud to say that SwiftJet delivers all of this and more, unlocking exciting new capabilities in the aircraft cabin and allowing users to connect more devices, and enjoy faster connectivity speeds, whenever and wherever they fly. It comes at a time when business aviation travel is not only returning to pre-pandemic levels, but also experiencing unprecedented demand for inflight connectivity.” Adam Sheppard, Honeywell Aerospace’s Director of Aircraft Connectivity, said: “SwiftJet represents the latest leap forward for inflight connectivity, combining Inmarsat’s commercial satellite capabilities and Honeywell’s connected aircraft expertise to provide scalable, high-speed satellite communications to passengers at 40,000 feet. With Inmarsat we have created a straightforward upgrade path for SwiftBroadband customers, giving them easy access to unprecedented internet speeds over L-band without having to change wiring or antenna hardware.” Inmarsat’s ELERA global satellite network delivers the world’s most reliable and flexible global connectivity, with full redundancy and unique resilience in all conditions. ELERA capabilities are being further enhanced with the addition of two Inmarsat-6 satellites, the largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built, both of which are scheduled to enter service next year and will support SwiftJet through the 2030s, reinforcing the service’s long-term value. The L-band capacity on each I-6 satellite will be substantially greater than Inmarsat’s 4th generation spacecraft, delivering 50% more capacity per beam in addition to unlimited beam routing flexibility. The I-6 series of satellites will also play a crucial role in the ongoing growth of Inmarsat’s unique ORCHESTRA dynamic mesh network, which will bring existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellites together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering. ABOUT INMARSAT Inmarsat is the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications. It owns and operates the world’s most diverse global portfolio of mobile telecommunications satellite networks, and holds a multi-layered, global spectrum portfolio, covering L-band, Ka-band and S-band, enabling unparalleled breadth and diversity in the solutions it provides. Inmarsat’s long-established global distribution network includes not only the world’s leading channel partners but also its own strong direct retail capabilities, enabling end to end customer service assurance. ABOUT HONEYWELL Honeywell Aerospace products and services are found on virtually every commercial, defense and space aircraft The Aerospace business unit builds aircraft engines, cockpit and cabin electronics, wireless connectivity systems, mechanical components and more. Its hardware and software solutions create more fuel-efficient aircraft, more direct and on-time flights and safer skies and airports.

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United Applies to Launch Historic, First-Ever Nonstop Service between Washington, D.C. and Cape Town

United | May 21, 2022

United Airlines announced today it has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for three weekly nonstop flights between Washington, D.C. and Cape Town, South Africa. If approved, United's flights will become the first nonstop service ever between Washington D.C. and South Africa's legislative capital, Cape Town. This long-overdue route will benefit important government-to-government connections and increase communication and commerce with a region that has strong cultural ties to South Africa. United's proposed service would begin Nov. 17, 2022, and operate on 787-9 aircraft, maximized to meet consumer demand and benefit both U.S. and South African travelers. If approved, the flights between Dulles and Cape Town will connect 55 cities across the United States to Cape Town, representing more than 90 percent of the entire U.S. travel demand to Cape Town. United's Washington Dulles hub is a gateway to the nation's capital and elsewhere, operating more than 230 daily flights to nearly 100 destinations around the world – including more than 10 world capitals and new service to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria. From creating new jobs, to supporting key civic and aid organizations, United has taken tremendous pride in growing our family and operations in South Africa, and across the African continent, If awarded by the DOT, this historic nonstop service will significantly enhance travel options for consumers, strengthen ties between our countries legislative and diplomatic epicenters, and benefit thriving travel and tourism industries serving our respective countries." Patrick Quayle, United's Senior Vice President of International Network and Alliances. United has worked diligently to develop an African network to promote competition and provide affordable and consistent service options for U.S. travelers. The service will supplement United's existing flights to four cities in three countries in Africa. It will also allow customers to connect in Cape Town to other points in South Africa, and to other countries in the southern region of the African continent with its South African based partner Airlink and their Cape Town hub. The Washington D.C. to Cape Town route is the largest between the U.S. and South Africa without nonstop service. D.C. is the second largest point in the U.S. for Cape Town demand and holds the fifth largest South-African-born population. United's proposed weekly flights will address this gap and complement United's existing South Africa service between New York/Newark and Cape Town and Johannesburg, providing nearly daily service to Cape Town offered by a single carrier. United also maintains a close relationship with the Mandela Foundation and BPESA (Business Processing Enabling South Africa) a not-for-profit company that serves as the industry body and trade association for Global Business Services in South Africa. United recently announced a collaboration with travel company Certified Africa. Certified Africa's mission is to make travel to African countries easy, immersive, and life changing for millions of the African Diaspora across the United States. About United United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." From our U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., United operates the most comprehensive global route network among North American carriers. United is bringing back our customers' favorite destinations and adding new ones on its way to becoming the world's best airline.

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