American Airlines, the embattled airline currently fighting for its life through bankruptcy protection, announced it will be updating their fleet’s look with a slick coat of silver mica paint, new tail design and an updated logo.
Given the airline’s well publicized issues with computer failures, cancelled flights, safety issues and labor strife, is a coat of a paint really going to impact your purchase decision next time you go search for a flight?
Customer experience once again takes a back seat to cosmetic slight-of-hand marketing tactics. I’m not sure what the cost of this fleet make-over is but I would argue that that same investment would go further if dedicated to improving the experience customers have with the airline.
I cannot argue the value of design in the public’s perception of a brand; however, I can argue that addressing the customer experience criticisms swirling around the socialsphere would serve the airline better. Below is a short video post expressing my thoughts on American Airline’s decision. Take a moment to listen and let me know if you agree or disagree with my analysis.
Too often, customer experience takes a back seat to other more controllable marketing tactics, and that seems to the be case here. Some will argue that it’s a short cut or a short-term measure, buy some time till the bigger issues can be effectively resolved. I can understand this argument, sometimes a suffering business just needs a lifeline, such a the bankruptcy protection act American Airlines is currently benefiting from. A re-branding might be a cost-effective lifeline until it can get the rest of its service issues in check. However, some corresponding customer experience improvements must be bundled in – and advertised with – the re-branding efforts to properly address the concerns of current and prospective customers.
Otherwise, it’s just lipstick on a pig.
Join the discussion! Is this effort too little too late for American Airlines? Is the investment well placed? Agree/Disagree.
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