6X Model of Airline Branding

6 Steps to a Swashbuckling Airline Brand

Selected and published by Interbrand’s Brandchannel.com as the featured white paper in Summer 2008, this white paper entitled “Six steps to building a swashbuckling airline brand” introduces a new model for deriving an airline’s brand value and then goes on to discuss ways to enhance it. Download it by clicking on the button below. Please send all feedback to shashank@simpliflying.com

Abstract: The airline industry is unique. It is cyclical in nature, incurs high-fixed costs, there are uncertainties due to heavy dependency on other fluctuating factors like oil prices and has a length of engagement with the customer that is not common in other industries. An ideal branding model for the airlines would take into account both the realities of business and the nature of the industry. The 6X branding model helps guide an airline’s branding approach by focusing on six key levers: Brand Xpectation, Brand Xperience, Brand Xpression, Brand Xternalities, Brand Xtensibility and Brand X-Factor.

Airline brand value

Getting over Airrogance

How airlines can live up to the new realities of customer engagement

The passengers actually flying, or voluntarily engaging with airlines, contain within them the most valuable marketing information, as they know what value propositions impact their purchasing decisions. Social media has provided tools to unlock that information, and the airlines that have started to prioritize this emerging field as a strategic priority rather than a tactical afterthought have started to benefit immensely. In addition to building real relationships with their customers, which potentially breed true loyalty, this approach will help carriers shave billions of dollars off their marketing budgets, enabling them to target promotions specifically and strategically to induce high-value customer behaviors. 

This whitepaper lays out how airlines are currently falling short in terms of customer engagement, demonstrated through different channels: E-Commerce, Loyalty, Brand Marketing, Customer Service and CRM. It also offers several examples of best practices through these various channels that early adopters have started to employ.

Here is an overview of the whitepaper:

  • The New Realities of Customer Engagement
    • Case Studies: KLM, American Airlines
  • Rethinking the Airline Industry: Cutting Out the Airrogance
  • Airrogance in E-Commerce
    • Case Study: Malaysia Airlines
  • Airrogance in Loyalty Programs
    • Case Study: Virgin America
  • Airrogance in Brand Marketing
    • Case Studies: jetBlue, SAS Scandinavian
  • Airrogance in Customer Service
    • Case Studies: easyJet, AirAsia
  • Airrogance in CRM – the future of customer engagement