What makes COPA Airlines one of the most profitable airline brands in the world? Interviews with two senior execs

This year, I’ve been fortunate to interact with key executives from COPA Airlines – one of the most consistently profitable airlines in the world. And in all the conversations, I sensed a distinct focus on the customer, which makes this airline so successful.

COPA’s keys to success

Here, I’ve included two interviews that shed light upon their keys to success – from a branding and e-marketing perspective. In summary, here’s what I’ve learnt from COPA:

  1. Don’t fight the price war – it’s a bottomless pit
  2. Focus – on the customer, on the product, and not only on competition
  3. The brand is the asset – never compromise on it
  4. Always keep metrics in mind, even when it comes to branding

Interview with the Director of eBusiness – Frank Kardonski

The first interview is with Frank Kardonski, the Director of eBusiness at COPA. He sheds a lot of light into how a well-thought out online strategy complements the strong brand fundamentals of the airline, making it one of the most profitable in the world. Here’s what he had to say:

  • The new COPA.com – makes it attractive to a widespread customer base. Customized portals for regional markets, like Brazil, Colombia or Panama. Auto-IP recognition (2:30)
  • eServices – Online check-in 36 hours prior to departure, a positive experience that keeps the customers coming back
  • New technologies have taken the traditional technologies and taken them a step further – it’s a conversation, as opposed to a broadcast (3:10)
  • Focused on getting the full juice out of traditional marketing (4:39)
  • “Thank goodness for the measurability of the Internet” – heavy focus on metrics (5:03)
  • Product that is relevant and appealing – connectivity between major and secondary cities, combined with the product focused on the Business traveler, from in-flight to OnePass

Interview with the Director of Marketing – Marco Ocando

The second interview is with Marco Ocando, the Director of Marketing. Marco comes from P&G and knows very well how to market commodities. And now that airline travel is a commodity, he fits perfectly in the picture. Here’s what he has to say:

  • “Marketing is marketing is marketing” – Airline marketing as FMCG marketing – they’re all commodities (2:10)
  • Focus on what the customer wants, and turn that in to an offering (2:35)
  • “You’re doomed to disappear if you don’t differentiate” (3:10)
  • No domestic flights, but Panama as the hub of the Americas (1:20)
  • How COPA manages to charge a premium on their fares, even in this environment, and still maintain load factors (3:25)
    • Customers value operational excellence and impeccable customer service
    • Honor the premium customers
  • Continental brand as an asset to the COPA brand (5:35)

So, what do you think about COPA’s success? Is it repeatable? Isn’t it refreshing to learn about such a visionary effort that’s also consistent? Let’s discuss in the comments or over on Twitter (@simpliflying)

Enhanced by Zemanta
Recommended Posts
Showing 2 comments
pingbacks / trackbacks

Leave a Comment

Getting Next Post...
website by siddatwork.com