That little man with the frizzy brown hair, squeaky voice and bright-coloured lycra might have agitated some, but he’s been part of a marketing recipe for success that has earned Air New Zealand a prestigious global win at the 10th annual Airline Strategy Awards held in London.
The awards, held in conjunction with the monthly magazine Airline Business, featured eight categories with Air New Zealand taking out the marketing category.
The judging panel, which included Qantas ex-chief executive Geoff Dixon, ex-easyJet chief executive Ray Webster and Air Canada director Joe Leonard, commented that Air New Zealand is in an industry-leading position. They also noted the airline’s approach to marketing has further propelled its brand on the international stage by using multimedia tools that showcase the carrier’s wit, humour and personality.
“In making our decision, the judges look for evidence of a focussed strategy which has helped to strengthen or reshape a carrier's market positioning. Attention is given to the clarity of the strategy and level of innovation applied across the whole marketing mix from sales and distribution, through to the on-board product and managing the customer relationship.”
Airline Business notes that after Air New Zealand’s 2009 painted uniforms video became a YouTube success, few could have predicted the airline would repeat the success so soon, as it did with its ‘Fit to Fly’ Richard Simmons video.
Air New Zealand general manager of marketing Mike Tod says the airline’s use of social media alongside marketing and PR has given it exposure the carrier could never afford to pay for with traditional marketing.
“We believe you need public relations, social media, and traditional marketing standing side-by-side. All three work together to deliver a cohesive strategy. Each builds off each other and builds a snowball of momentum,” he says.
The airline’s latest win comes off the back of its recent top ranking on the ssecond annual New Zealand Corporate Reputation Index.