Disjointed brand experience

I recently travelled from Australia to the UK with Singapore Airlines. The Sydney to Singapore leg of the journey was on the new A380, the second part was on an older plane from Singapore Airlines fleet.

I have flown with Singapore Airlines many times before and have always been impressed by all aspects of the travel experience from the leg-room, to the entertainment systems, the food quality and beyond. But this time the contrast between the newness and luxury of the A380 and the other Singapore Airlines plane was stark. To be frank the experience of the second flight seemed simply average by comparison.

Having redefined my expectations for airline travel, Singapore have set high standards that their other planes don’t yet meet. I have heard that they will be refitting many of their other planes to match the quality of the A380 – I hope this is true and that they do it soon.

Think beyond individual products and services

This highlighted to me the importance of thinking beyond individual products and services. Organisations need to consider the holistic brand experience offered by the range of products and services customers encounter in a single interaction. Why make one product a market leader without plans to improve related products and services?

Organisations need to develop holistic customer experience strategies rather than thinking about products in isolation – after all it is rare that a customer will interact with one aspect of an organisation without the need to interact with other aspects of the organisation.

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3 responses to “Disjointed brand experience

  1. I take you point regarding the product on the Boeing 747-400 you probably flew to Sydney.

    However, it is very difficult for airlines to fully harmonise their product, especially when their fleet planning has earmarked that particular type of aircraft to be leaving the fleet.

    In an ideal world, airlines would be able to afford to retrofit all their aircraft with their most current product.

    In reality, there is little buffer for aircraft downtime to make the changes necessary. Further, if an aircraft is to leave (the B744 is to leave SIA’s fleet in 2011), then it doesn’t make sense from a financial perspective to retrofit.

    Nevertheless, despite the actual seat and entertainment screen, I would hope that the standard of inflight service rendered by the crew would be the same and the catering to be of similar high regard.

    While taking the A380 product and B744 product side by side, it’s not difficult to see who wins.

    However, the B744 product, viewed holistically as you so rightly pointed out in the latter part of the blog spot, is still a very good product and one that still remains unsurpassed by other airlines.

    I don’t work for any airline or aviation-related company.

  2. You’ve written an excellent example of what typically happens in industry. A brand would have multiple products with one being a market leader and others being less than desirable.

    But as Khoa pointed out, the business and monitary constraints still exist.

    I think Singapore Airlines made the correct move. The A380 experience was exceptional but the B747 wasn’t that bad either. As long as they bring the A380 experience to their B747s before their competitors, Singapore Airlines will still be regarded as the best.

    I’ve seen some brands where one product is a market leader and the rest are just horrible.

  3. Pingback: The price of overselling expectations « Simpler is better

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