Airline regulations were limiting advertising optionsWe found alternatives that made an impact
House of Kaizen worked with British Airways to launch its OpenSkies business class airline by creating demand through social media. We developed a customised awareness and acquisition strategy based upon our unique word-of-mouth listening and insights methods, that allowed a select group of valuable business travellers to engage with the brand during its development, engendering good will that was shared on social platform and building demand prior to the first flight.
Airline industry regulations prohibit advertising before the operational certificate is awarded, which makes it hard for a new airline to fill seats for its launch.
Through word-of-mouth research we found that the knowledgeable, passionate and influential members of the business traveller community would be highly interested and engaged with social participation in the airline's development. We built a community on the airline's primary website and welcomed engagement, feedback and conversations in the lead up to launch. It created awareness amongst the most valuable world travellers without violating industry regulations, to get the airline off the ground with strong demand in place.
Further, our insights from the conversation identified the opportunity to invite twenty members of the influential FlyerTalk.com community on the very first flight with round-trip tickets to Paris and a luxury hotel stay for a long weekend. They were encouraged to photograph and record every aspect of the Open Skies experience from the time they booked on flyopenskies.com, scheduled events and activities with the concierge, and enjoyed the comfort and services in flight. Naturally, they then shared their experiences publicly through discussions on FlyerTalk.com and on their own blogs, photo feeds and within their personal & professional social networks.
How We Did It
The risk to OpenSkies was significant, being the airline’s very first flight; much of the service hadn’t been perfected. However, the refreshingly open and honest approach to customers was truly embraced and resulted in an overwhelmingly positive response to the experience. The stories about which were shared widely across the internet due to the authentic connection Open Skies established with the desires of their customer community.
- Community co-creation of the brand and the product built anticipation, pent-up demand and familiarity with the product even before it could be experienced
- Widespread word-of-mouth, photos and inbound links from forums, blogs and social communities allowed OpenSkies to establish awareness at a stage when advertising would have been illegal due to aviation industry regulations
- Advantages in search engine optimisation (SEO) driving substantial organic search traffic amongst the most qualified prospective customers
- Incremental bookings from community efforts with significantly higher rate of conversion and higher than average revenue value.
Why House of Kaizen
Our deep understanding of consumer behaviour, established through a unique approach to online word-of-mouth research, helped us create a custom strategy that directly addressed specific business challenges and achieve ROI objectives. Our experience with over a decade of observing and analysing online Word-of-Mouth and social media behaviour gives us the insight to connect a brand's marketing objectives with the values of a social community to create a valuable experience for everyone involved.
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