Conde Nast Traveler 2008 airline rankings prove that product is the brand
Innovative products and services – the key ingredient for strong brands – ooze out all the chart-toppers in Conde Nast Traveler 2008 airline rankings released recently. Last week, in an interview with this blog, Gary Leopold, the CEO of ISM Boston shared that “the product is the brand”. This certainly holds true for for the top few airlines in each category. Below, we’ve pointed out what the top two airlines in each category do right, that makes them so good.
Surprise! in the air
Before we get into what the to airlines do right, how about pointing out some surprises about this latest ranking? Interestingly, Singapore Airlines operates only one trans-Atlantic flight (Frankfurt – JFK), and yet they are in the top two airlines on this route. Even though they don’t use their latest and best planes on this route, the great brand leverage they’ve built for themselves continues to give them lots of mileage on this route.
Where are the US airlines? Bad product + Bad service = bad brand!
The US airlines are glaringly missing from the international rankings, but even in the domestic US rankings, where are the biggies? Right at the bottom. Only Continental is in the top three, and Delta just peeks in at the fifth place. Where is United Airlines? Where is American Airlines? Where is Northwest Airlines? The fact that these airlines are missing further enforces the importance of having a strong product to build a strong brand in the airline industry. Will the US airline industry ever get back its mojo? We wonder… May be the rest need to learn from the upstart, Virgin America, which has topped the ranking in just one year!
Here are some rankings from the annual Conde Nast Traveler business-travel awards 2008:
Top Trans-Atlantic Business Class
Top Trans-Pacific Business Class
Top U.S. First and/or Business Class