Little things that make an airline brand stand out. Good job, Indigo!

When it comes to airline branding, it’s the little things that happen at the various touch points that make the brand stand out, ultimately driving customer loyalty.

I flew from Mumbai to Delhi yesterday on Indigo Airlines, a leading domestic budget carrier in India, known for its tongue-in-cheek branding.

I have a habit of being engrossed in a book or a newspaper during the take-off and landing sequence on every flight I take. On the flight yesterday, once the safety demonstration was done, the stewardess walked down the aisle checking our seat-belts. As she passed me, she realized I was reading and reached out to turn on the reading light for me.

Let me write that again. Without even me asking her for anything, or even making eye contact with her (remember, I was engrossed in reading), she turned on my reading light, gave me a smile and walked away.

It was an aha-moment for me. Having taken over 20 flights in the last couple of weeks (including flying First Class), this was the only thing that stood out. Thanks to such a simple gesture, which made me feel special, I can say with confidence that I’ll be inclined to fly Indigo when I’m in India. Of course, they greet me by my name too, when serving food – as I wrote last year.

Driving customer loyalty isn’t that difficult after all, isn’t it? Just do the small things right. Great job, Indigo!

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying, one of the world’s largest aviation marketing firms working with over 85 aviation clients in the last ten years. Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior executives globally, from Chile to China. Nigam’s impassioned and honest perspectives on airline marketing have found their way to over 100 leading media outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg, and into leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He writes a dedicated monthly column in Flight’s Airline Business, challenging the typical assumptions about airline marketing. His new book on airline marketing, SOAR, is an Amazon bestseller that’s shaking up the industry and inspiring other industries to learn from the best airlines. Born in India, raised in Singapore, he now lives with his wife and two young daughters in Toronto.
Shashank Nigam
Shashank Nigam

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  • Vishal Mehra

    As i said earlier to you on twitter, these guys definitely need to be on twitter now, you also pass on the suggestion.

  • Sumit Roy

    Well observed, Shashank.

    I've had similar experiences with Indigo.

    Add to that their dedication to being on time, and you can see why Indigo flights are often able to charge a preminum for their last few seats. I have flown Indigo even though Jet Airways was actually offering me a lower cost through their Jet Konnect programme.

    BTW. Flew to China recently. On China Eastern. What touched me was the Tai Chi exercises conducted by the crew, at the end of an international flight, to get everyone to stretch their limbs as the flight was preparing to land.


    • Shashank Nigam

      Sumit – you're spot on in your analysis. It's bringing out the unique
      cultural aspects and using them as brand differentiation that drive
      loyalty. Just like the China Eastern example.

  • Ross

    Do Indigo have a Twitter account? I have heard similar praises about them on Twitter but there doesn't seem to be anywhere for them to direct the praises to!?

    • Shashank Nigam

      Ross, Indigo doesn't have a Twitter account yet. But I do sure hope
      they'll get here sooner than later 🙂

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