This product is yet to find its sense of stability in the demand and supply market. One reason is because it varies a lot and second, unlike other products, it has a set of unique characteristics that the consumers have to bear with. One of its unique characteristics includes the lack of quality checks before purchase of the product. This is one of the six characteristics John Wensveen believes both parties have to bear with for their convenience. In his book, Air Transportation, A Management Perspective, Wensveen also examines the various ways in which the airline product differs from other products, how its marketing strategies are always evolving, and why existing airlines still have a lot to do ensure they remain in the dynamic and competitive industry. Based on knowledge derived from this text and other sources, I shall provide an individual analysis of the product focusing on each of the three parts Wensveen has used to compile his text.
The airline product is different in its own way mainly because of six unique characteristics explained by Wensveen. One is that the product is personalized. Everyone alights the plane on arrival having their own opinion based on the kind of service they received. Second, the service offered is irreplaceable. Once you are onboard a flight, what you paid for is not necessarily, what you get and you cannot ask for a refund. Thirdly, it is given that the product only comes in batches and not individually (Wensveen, 2015, p. 286). There are only a few who can afford to hire a jet let alone purchase one. The fourth reason is that product is not guaranteed since it can be infringed by mechanical problems or bad weather. The fifth characteristic dictates that as a consumer, one does not get to check the quality of service before its final sale since it does not feature showrooms or pre-purchase experiences. These five features mainly address the consumer (Wensveen, 2015, p. 286). However, the last one affects the seller. Since it is not given that every flight will be fully booked, sellers incur losses in revenue they cannot compensate for since any unoccupied seat amounts to a loss.
The above characteristics have played a huge role in defining the strategies marketing experts are employing to get their airlines huge revenues. One of the most popular strategies involves the use of advertisements. This technique has invoked unprecedented desires among business travellers and rich people. Marketers and promotion agencies are competing with each other to post You Tube videos and huge billboard advertisements in cities to appeal to a given niche. These two techniques have proven to be beneficial to many airlines since they have been able to regain their rich clientele (Shaw, 2011, p. 11) . For those kinds of travellers who prefer first class service, several airlines have included special inflight services such as a variety of meals to choose from, entertainment, communication networks, and comfort.
The airline product may be different from other products but like other industries, its sellers have the challenge of providing both quality and quantity. When the Southwest Airlines came up with the overweight policy for example, other airlines followed the same trend because they would stand to lose to the airline if they did not. When the 9/11 incident happened, many American airlines changed their three class airline service to business class and economy class. As a result, other regional and foreign airlines implemented the same strategy to keep up with the trend. Just recently, airlines such as Qatar Airways and Emirates Airline have brought back the luxurious services in airlines to cater for the few who are privileged. Other airlines such as Virginia Airways have already picked up the trend. All these are instances illustrating why the airline industry is simply a sector dominated by similarity. The difference lies in the manner in which service is delivered.
In some airline companies, many strategists have realized the need to increase volumes in their carriers since this technique has proven to be highly beneficial. Since the highest percentage of travellers lie within the middle class, airline strategists are now advising their companies to market their airlines based on the convenience hey offer to the middle class (Tsai, Chou & Leu, 2011, p. 37). To ensure this information reaches out to the target audience, airlines are issuing out fliers, which include detailed information about flight schedules, costs, and a variety of payment methods. Several airlines are also expanding their services to accommodate group travels. This marketing strategy has been termed as market segmentation since it is consumer-oriented. Using this strategy, airlines have been able to accommodate people travelling in groups such as religious leaders and the military. Having these marketing strategies has made air travel another product among many that consumers can choose to get utility from.
The airline industry is one environment in which a variety of marketing tools can be implemented and produce expected results. However, as Wensveen notes, some airlines have also made some bad strategic decisions, which have resulted in such airlines exiting their preferred markets. The number of strategies airline operators are yet to realize that could prove beneficial to their business symbolizes the bright future that awaits airline marketing.
Shaw, S. (2011). Airline marketing and management. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd..Tsai, W. H., Chou, W. C., & Leu, J. D. (2011). An effectiveness evaluation model for the web-based marketing of the airline industry. Expert Systems with Applications, 38(12), 15499-15516.
Wensveen, J. G. (2015). Air transportation: a management perspective. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd..
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