strike up the brand
Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 9, 2010 10:45 AM
Business strategists who analyze Sir Richard Branson's methodology for opening new businesses might think it consists of "Throw it against the wall and see what sticks." They might be right. Branson, the iconoclastic founder of Virgin, a name that represents almost anything you can imagine these days, continues to confound business media, impress investors, and delight consumers with one unusually innovative, breakthrough idea after another.
In addition to launching a new media brand, the aptly-named Maverick, exclusively for the iPad, Branson and Co. have been busy on the branding front across a staggering 360-plus companies.Continue reading...
ready for takeoff
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 27, 2010 12:30 PM
It's a common practice at numerous international airports, but in the United States, self-boarding is just now being tried for the first time with a trial by Continental Airlines (which recently merged with United and today announced its senior leadership team).
Continental is testing self-boarding — allowing passengers to scan their own boarding passes without assistance from an agent — at a gate (pictured at right) at Houston Intercontinental Airport, one of the airline's hubs.
When the pass is scanned at a kiosk reader, a turnstile allows the passenger to enter the jetway. The test was approved by the U.S. Transportation Security Agency, since passengers who are boarding a flight must have already been screened at airport security checkpoints.
While the process is said to be faster than having airline workers scan passes, it also frees up gate agents to address customers' pre-flight needs and thus boost the airline's reputation with its customers.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 26, 2010 03:00 PM
Many airlines have started to charge for everything from meals to blankets in an effort to generate revenue any way they can. Air travel, in fact, has been stripped down to basics and as a result, feels to travelers like more of a commodity.
That's why it becomes more important for an airline to differentiate itself in other ways — and that's what Cathay Pacific is doing with its latest ad campaign.Continue reading...
stuck in neutral
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 6, 2010 02:45 PM
The relationship between Ireland's Aer Lingus and private carrier Ryanair is sounding more like a rocky marriage mired in a pre-nup that prohibits divorce. Or to continue with our Lady Gaga theme today, they're caught in a bad romance.
The European Union's General Court ruled today that Ryanair must retain its 30% stake in Aer Lingus, but that it cannot proceed with a takeover of the troubled airline.
Think of Ryanair, which undercuts its competition (and its brand?) with moves such as proposed "standing seats" and a loo tax, as the Southwest Airlines of Europe.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 22, 2010 04:00 PM
JetBlue fliers getting tired of a diet of Terra Blues chips, chocolate chip cookies and DirecTV, rejoice! The airline today announced on its corporate blog that it will start selling food on longer haul flights. While not exactly a nourishing meal, the carrier will begin selling snack boxes (priced at $6 each) on its flights longer than 3 hours and 45 minutes.
The five transfat-free selections will include a "Wake Up" breakfast box on morning flights. The company, which is also promoting its beverage brand partners with an Ocean Spray campaign in its bigger U.S. markets, had been one of the last holdouts among U.S. domestic airlines to offer in-flight meals.
when brands collide
Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 11, 2010 12:01 PM
When big brands merge, it's always interesting to theorize about which brand will ultimately benefit most from the union.
Obviously, both brands bring something to the table in terms of assets and liabilities. But in the case of the United-Continental merger, which will create the largest airline in the world, it's United that stands to gain from "the rub-off from Continental's surprisingly high goodwill among consumers."
According to Ad Age, industry analysts describe Continental as "one of the only U.S.-based legacy carriers with any amount of consumer goodwill in its back pocket," largely due to the airline's excellent customer service and liberal frequent flyer program.
United, on the other hand, "has done a lot to ruin their image from what it was 10 to 12 years ago," says Robert Herbst an airline analyst. Syndicated travel columnist Chris Elliott agrees that Continental has the better brand; "they're known for having a proactive customer service department."Continue reading...
up and away
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 11, 2010 09:56 AM
JetBlue not only offered $10 flights yesterday in honor of its 10th anniversary – it also launched a "digital brand experience" that aims to communicate the essence of its brand just by clicking on experience.jetblue.com.
It's a little reminiscent of HBO's Webby-award winning HBO Imagine digital brand showcase, except HBO employed actors and a 360-degree format to highlight its strengths in scripted, narrative storytelling.
JetBlue's site puts the focus on customers, with four fans telling their stories in response to JetBlue's call-out on YouTube (above), Facebook and the brand's other marketing channels.
The chosen customers highlight their favorite amenities or airline features, such as space, time, play, treat, leather seats, DirecTV, “Shut-Eye Service” on transcontinental flights, the Dunkin Donuts, and those ubiquitous free Terra Blues potato chips.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 14, 2010 10:15 AM
Republic Airways Holdings acquired both Midwest and Frontier Airlines last year, indicating that it planned to operate the two airlines independently. But consolidation seems to be an inevitability in the airline industry. Republic has announced its decision to merge the two airlines under one brand name. And the winner is... Frontier.
As the Midwest brand takes off on a one-way trip into the horizon, the first thought may be, "Really -- Frontier?"
Admittedly, Frontier has the cooler, more contemporary look to its planes. The word FRONTIER runs across the entire body of each airplane, and the tails carry beautiful full-color images of animals (or "spokesanimals," as Frontier calls them). But it is Midwest that has been rated #1 in overall quality for mid-size U.S. economy service for eight consecutive years in the Zagat Airline Survey. Frontier, on the other hand, filed for bankruptcy in 2008 before it was acquired by Republic in 2009.
So why christen the merged airline with what appears to be the weaker brand? According to Republic Airways Holdings CEO Bryan Bedford, the decision was "an emotional one."Continue reading...