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Martin Piper

Martin Piper

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The Point of Difference?

Posted by Martin Piper
Martin Piper
Martin Piper has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 23 November 2011
in Design and Development
Martin Piper looks at why airlines should differentiate more in today’s market place..
One could say that for the passengers in the back, the competition is mostly price driven and that will, pretty much,always stay the same. But for Business and First class, this should be different.
In a world dominated by the big conglomerates, where every shopping centre features a ‘generic’ mall containing the same stores globally, our world seems to be getting smaller - at least commercially. That is why, when travelling, one needs to seek out and actively enjoy the subtle differences that mark our cultures apart. Therefore, when flying, this should ideally start in the departure lounge or, at least, onboard with the passenger experiencing contemporary global qualities but enhanced and accented with local touches and great attention to detail. In an ideal world this would create a set of choices based purely on taste and style and not so much on price or points and allow the essence of the destination to be brought forward to the moment you enter your airport departure lounge...
Another way to increase client loyalty is to mark yourself out as different with a more subtle, holistic view on how all of the passenger ‘touch points’ seamlessly join in harmony to create a smooth and coherent journey experience with innovative and thoughtful touches throughout. There are a number of ways to do this, of course, but the demographic always should inform the mood or character of the foundations of any creative master plan.
The age old problem with ‘cabin’ or ‘service’ refreshes is that it is really hard to get the operational lifespan of connected SKUs to end coincidentally and wastage is always a hard pill for the ‘bean counters’ to swallow - so, one way to create real change is by ‘value engineering’ a softer launch programme involving less products and rationalising the list to create a crisper consistant look with less fussy variation - and - if adopted right across the business, this principal can make a real difference to the business and the bottom line - a real win/win situation...
We at Plane Talking are already seeing the green shoots of ‘cautious optimism’ coming through and are currently working with two of our bigger clients on these kinds of refresh programmes - one is an Asian carrier’s ‘fine dining experience’ based on the level of intimate chic that you’d expect in a high-end dining room, and the other is a large Middle-Eastern airline who we are helping to re-define what it means to be truely service driven.
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