Managing the Brand Experience in Aviation

Aviation branding is considered by many brand professionals to be the mother of all projects as it encompasses all aspects of business strategy and branding. Understanding the value of operations tied to the brand – routes, gates, passengers, cargo, leasing models is just one area. Managing the brand journey from consideration, booking, arrival at the airport, lounge, inflight, food, entertainment, arrival, and ongoing mileage club needs is also a huge challenge.  Brendan McMahon has worked with some of the major Asian airlines to reposition and rebrand for global growth.

ANA: All Nippon Airways Rebrand

ANA is one of the strongest brands in the Japan market with high recognition domestically and an expanding global network but considered a catch-up brand next to the national flag carrier, Japan Airlines. Brendan was Executive Project Director as the company underwent a total brand valuation over a two year period for all routes and activities to understand where its latent brand equity could be identified and measured. In addition, the research was designed to pinpoint operational weaknesses to be addressed. Interviews were held with senior managers, industrial partners, with secondary research to staff and customers. The complementary innovation work was used to inform the positioning and brand platform. Once the core messages both visual and verbal were developed and agreed across multiple platforms on the brand journey – from the holiday brochures to reservations, check-in, boarding, inflight and arrival experience –  serial brand rollout was timetabled to manage potential internal and external gaps while the brand was rolled out.

Japan Airlines: Consumer Loyalty Research

Brendan worked on an ongoing research program to understand brand loyalty to customers traveling on Japan Airlines. The team devised measures to understand where customer service levels were not meeting customer expectations and informed a larger program of communications for the partner advertising agency.

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