Are you creating an immersive brand experience for your airline?

A tale from Istanbul…

When I entered the offices of PEAK Games in Istanbul a couple of weeks back, here’s what I saw:

Instead of being greeted by a receptionist asking who I was there to meet, a huge Ogre-like creature was asking me to start playing. I dumped my laptop bag and immediately immersed myself into the game, in which the Ogre on the screen followed my motions and I had to keep him flying higher by collecting coins. A game so simple that a little kid would get it, and yet here I was, completely engrossed in it. Though I was at Peak’s offices for less than an hour, I probably played the game three to four times!

And I didn’t need to ask anyone what the company did. They obviously create very engaging games for people of all ages! And very good ones at that, given they’re one of the top gaming companies in the world.

Being part of such an immersive experience got me thinking – what can airlines do to immerse their passengers in a unique experience? On the ground and in the air?

Airlines with an immersive experience

An immersive experience is that which allows an airline to differentiate itself from competition, and something that leaves a lasting memory in the passengers’ minds. So which airlines are doing it well? Something that appeals to multiple human senses. Here are some I’ve personally experienced.

  1. Singapore Airlines – the Singapore Girl taking care of you throughout the journey still brings back the romance to travel. Few other airlines have been able to match that level of service. Did you know that Singapore Airlines also has patented the scent their flight attendants wear?
  2. Turkish Airlines – from possibly the best Star Alliance lounge there is, to the in-flight chef personally serving you food in Business Class. The Turkish Airlines experience has been one of my most memorable in recent times. The last time I flew them to Canada, I only ate for two hours – no movie, no reading, just eating!
  3. Midwest Airlines/Frontier – The Midwest Cookie, which was freshly baked in-flight created an irresistible aroma, which has unfortunately been discontinued.
  4. Southwest Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Kulula: Would you ever forget a safety demonstration by a rapping flight attendant, those dancing on Lady Gaga’s latest hits, or those that announce you’ve landed in Zimbabwe instead of South Africa? Nope. Never. And these three airline brands in three continents have a lot of fun with their passengers, which creates an immersive experience.
  5. Virgin America – their mood lighting and beautifully designed cabins make for a comfortable and memorable flight!

Airlines that create an immersive experience also succeed in creating an emotional bond with the customers. And that creates affinity towards the brand, not just loyalty. Which ultimately keeps them coming back, by choice.

Those I’ve mentioned here are just some of those that do a good job of creating an immersive experience. Do you know of others? Please do share in Comments and over on Twitter 🙂

P.S: Special thanks to Kasim Zorlu to make the trip to Peak games possible!

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