APEX 2013: Teague’s Liddell says airlines should offer more, not less

Devin Liddell (pictured), Principal Brand Strategist for design consultancy Teague, says that offering less is not a strategy for airlines.

He added that there is really good evidence that the more an airline relies on ancillary revenues, the less it is favoured by the passenger.

"There is only so much you can take away," Liddell said.

He argues that offering passengers more could make an airline more profitable, what he called a "better together" proposition. Cruise liners are a good example, he said – all your food, beverages and entertainment are included. Apple's revenues are higher than Microsoft and Dell together by offering more, bringing its hardware and software together in one package.

He added: "The Gucci edition of the Fiat 500, for example, brings the company a 52% premium over the base model. That is, it makes a vast profit by charging more for something that doesn't actually cost that much extra to make."

He says stop fussing with air miles, points and awards. "We are not really after brand loyalty," he says. "We want love."

The fact that people will queue for hours to get an Apple product is an example of love, he said. After all, Double Tree hotels have built a reputation on giving out warm cookies when you check in.

"Give people something for taking the middle seat – a free drink, a free movie or a discounted hotel room," he said. "Or how about ordering your room service meal while in the air so that it is ready for you when you arrive at the hotel?"

He also advocates other services to make the experience better, such as post-flight spa services or express check-in while in the air. And as hotel spaces are better than airport spaces, how about letting hotels know about flight delays so that passengers on delayed flights can stay at the hotel rather than heading for the airport?

"Blow your passengers' minds," he said.

Steve Nichols, Inflight / Inflight-Online.com
Anaheim, CA, USA

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