uphill battles

JetBlue Elevates Brand to Offset Legroom, Checked Baggage Fee Grumbling

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 23, 2015 12:07 PM

JetBlue is about to join the legion of airlines that cut back on legroom and charge fees for checked baggage, two major changes that customers, unhappily, will see in the coming months.

Consumers, however, already have taken note and are not very happy. Since the plans were unveiled late last year, the number of consumers who say they feel “positive” about the brand has dropped from 63.8% to 56.2%, according to research firm YouGov.

Marty St. George, executive vice president, commercial and planning for JetBlue and the brand’s head of marketing, told the Wall Street Journal in a Q&A that baggage fees are less of a problem for consumers than they used to be.

He added that reducing legroom should “be a nonissue once people see what the customer experience will be,” particularly since JetBlue will still “have more legroom than any other airline in North America.”Continue reading...

brand essence

As Airlines Spritz the Friendly Skies, Does It Make Scents for Their Brands?

Posted by Elisabeth Dick Oak on February 12, 2015 02:32 PM

Travel blogs are buzzing with the news of United's new brand scent, tentatively named “Landing.” A light blend of orange peel, sandalwood, cedar and leather, Landing can now be sniffed on jetways and United Club lounges at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.

United is not the first brand to hope customers will follow their nose. Cinnabon routinely puts their ovens near the front of their stores so that the drool-inducing smell of its cinnamon rolls will linger in the air. Automakers including Nissan have introduced their own scents. And hotel chains such as Sofitel and The Ritz-Carlton have piped signature scents through their air vents for years—tweaking them for specific locales and even selling them in their shops.

Airlines including Turkish Airlines and Air Canada’s low-cost rouge brand also offer their own branded scents, while Alaska Airlines is working on one, according to the Wall Street Journal. And they’re not wrong to make the investment in fragrant flyer programs.Continue reading...

ready for takeoff

JetBlue Onboards Apple Pay in Airline Industry First

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 10, 2015 02:09 PM

Mobile payments are certainly taking off. Starting next week, JetBlue passengers on select flights will be able to purchase food, drinks and other amenities (if not SkyMall purchases) using Apple Pay on an iPhone 6 or iPhone6 Plus. This marks the first mobile payment system to be used on an airline, but it certainly won’t be the last.

JetBlue’s flight attendants will carry around specially equipped iPad Minis that can accept both the six-month-old Apply Pay as well as credit cards. "The iPad Minis will also give flight attendants info on which passengers are frequent fliers and who is having a birthday," according to JetBlue's press release.

In addition, the airline is hoping to move its bulky flight-attendant manuals over to the iPad Mini as well.Continue reading...

traveling brands

KLM Puts the 'Air' in Airbnb With Airplane Apartment and Local Listings

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 11, 2014 10:47 AM

Hoteliers across the globe now have another reason to up the ante in their competition with the ever-growing Airbnb. The brand has taken another big step toward cultural legitimacy with a new partnership with KLM.

The Dutch airline and the San Francisco-based short-term rental website have teamed up to offer each other’s services to their consumers.

The partnership kicked off with a KLM plane at its homebase at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport being completely turned into a full-on apartment that three different sets of contest winners got to stay in.Continue reading...

digital marketing

Lufthansa Heightens Brand Experience with New Augmented Reality App

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 8, 2014 12:04 PM

While some brands are testing virtual reality to heighten the brand experience, Lufthansa is claiming a world-first by launching a new augmented reality app that lets customers explore Premium Economy seats and the joys of getting 50% extra legroom.

iPhone and iPad users (iOS 7 or later) are prompted to grab a pen and paper to “draw something that flies,” then scan the drawing to see a Premium Economy seat pop on their screen.

Lufthansa’s new AR app differs from most, like Blippar, which only work when a specific brand logo or image is activated.Continue reading...

traveling brands

Southwest Wears Its Heart On Its Sleeve with New Livery, Brand Experience

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 8, 2014 01:11 PM

Southwest Airlines, the largest domestic airline by passengers, revealed a new livery, logo and brand experience this morning at a press event held inside a hangar at its Dallas headquarters. The airline, which is completing its merger with AirTran, introduced a refreshed color scheme of blue, yellow and red, as well as a new heart logo that will adorn the belly of its planes.

The first visual update since 2011 also introduces the Southwest name to the plane's fuselage, while its web address will adorn the engines. Dubbed "Heart One," the new livery is said to be in honor of the brand's employees (and might remind some of JetBlue's heartfelt logo ode to New York by Milton Glaser).

“Our collective heartbeat is stronger and healthier than ever, and that’s because of the warmth, the compassion, and the smiles of our People,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO said in a press release. “The Heart emblazoned on our aircraft, and within our new look, symbolizes our commitment that we’ll remain true to our core values as we set our sights on the future.”Continue reading...

social media

LinkedIn Gives Brands a Publishing and Customer Service Platform Like No Other

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2014 03:28 PM

LinkedIn is steadily becoming a major focus for brand marketing thanks to its commitment to value-added B2B services like self-publishing that allow brands to build themselves up online.

With an in-house ad business through its "Sponsored Updates" feature and its recent acquisition of Bizo and Newsle, LinkedIn is increasingly giving brands a platform to promote their content and services to other brands and potential employees.  

“Publishing solid, optimized content on LinkedIn allows you the opportunity to showcase your brand, and reach a significant amount of qualified potential customers, not only through LinkedIn’s own site search, but also via the search engines themselves," Business2Community notes. 

But beyond publishing, several brands are using LinkedIn's platform to generate some interesting conversations. A major innovator in the social travel space, KLM, has launched a service on LinkedIn that allows followers to ask travel-related questions. Alternately, Mercedes-Benz is using the site to promote its 2015 C-Class line with a “Driven to Perform” contest that will award a LinkedIn user with a two-year lease of a Mercedes C300.Continue reading...

ready for takeoff

Blanket Approval: British Airways Passengers, Please Fasten Your Neurosensors

Posted by Caitlin Barrett on July 1, 2014 03:34 PM

British Airways, aiming to measure passenger well-being in-flight, just launched a data-collection initiative that recruits volunteers to wear “happiness blankets” on their trans-Atlantic flights

That’s right, happiness blankets. Sort of like a mood ring for your whole body (one that’s linked to a fiber optic neurosensor strapped around your head). Once travelers get past what must be a very acute “Wait, why am I doing this?” settling-in period, the magic—and data collection—can begin.

The blankets shift colors, from cool blues when the passenger is calm to red when they’re frustrated or upset. According to the video explaining the concept, passengers are most soothed at the moments when you’d expect it: during meal service, while enjoying a movie, and sleeping deeply (the airline punctuates this point with the video’s tagline, ““Never underestimate the power of a good flight’s sleep”).

So, why happiness blankets? There are so many ways to collect passenger data. Why this method, which veers pretty darn close to stunt? Obviously, British Airways was confident that it would make passengers mostly very happy, which gives them a nice story to tell prospective travelers about their experience today.Continue reading...

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