SAS Scandinavian Airlines conquers niche airline marketing by first same sex wedding on a plane

Great airline marketing strategies are built on the shoulders of smaller successess. Only when multiple niche markets are targeted well, does the airline fill up the plane well. For example, South African Airways targets Americans going to Zimbabwe for African safaris as a niche market for their New York – Johanesberg flights. Similarly, Air Arabia has some of its marketing campaigns geared towards family members of the South Asian labor working in the Middle East, so that they can visit often.

SAS = LGBT-friendly airline?

Now, SAS Scandinavian has targeted the LGBT community – a small, but often rich community, to showcase how friendly the airline is towards this specific group. The airline has launched a competition on a microsite where gay couples can share their love stories and win a chance to be the couple to get married on-board a flight from Stockhom to New York! Not only that, the couple will win a complete honeymoon package as well, which will also bring them to the US West Coast and put them up in luxury hotels. Now, that’s original!

Why I think this is a good niche market to go after?

Simply because not too many airlines are daring enough to enter this market so boldly. Few, like Air New Zealand have specific sections on their website dedicated to the LGBT sector.

Through this wedding and contest submissions, SAS is bound to generate a significant amount of awareness of their product and open-ness to diversity for the specific market. After all, once a gay couple has submitted a video, who do you think they will ask to vote? Probably more friends who swing the other way. And that should ultimately lead to more bookings for SAS from this market.

Niche marketing gives airlines a competitive advantage, which can quickly add up over time for sustainable brand leadership.

So, what’s your niche market that your airline has been successful in targeting? Do you think this is a smart move by SAS? Let’s discuss in the comments or over on Twitter (@simpliFlying)

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying and a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought-leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior aviation executives globally, from Chile to Canada and from Sydney to San Francisco. Shashank's perspectives have found their way into major media outlets, including CNN Travel, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg UTV, Mashable and in leading publications like Airline Business, ATW, Aviation Week, and others. Shashank studied Information Systems Management and Business Management at Singapore Management University and Carnegie Mellon University. Hailing from India, he splits his time between Singapore and Vancouver, among other cities.
Shashank Nigam
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