Any time someone boards an airplane, they are counting on the plane (and the people who operate it) to keep them safe. While it is certainly true that air travel is safer than driving on the highway, it is also true that many people get nervous while flying – and the thought of anything going wrong is a scary one.
For that reason, marketing an aviation company has to be about safety and reassurance before anything else. Everything that you do to market your company must focus on alleviating your customers’ fears first, whether you are supplying a component part or operating planes after they are built.
What Do People Want from an Aviation Firm?
The first question you must ask when building an aviation brand is this: what do our customers need to hear from us? In other words, you must take time to identify the particular qualities that will show your customers that they can rely on you.
The number one concern of many airline passengers – and thus of airplane manufacturers – is safety. A company that has a shoddy safety or quality control record is very likely to face backlash from the public. Other important qualities that customers desire include reliability and speed.
Color and Logo Concerns
The two most common colors used in airline logos are blue and red. Blue conveys calm and trustworthiness. Red is in many ways its opposite, putting forward an image of bold strength. The two colors balance each other well. Depending on the brand image you want to cultivate, you may choose other colors. Purple would make a good color for a luxury airline, while green is associated with balance – another important aspect of flight.
The shape of your logo also communicates a message. Round logos speak of comfort and security, while triangular logos give an indication of speed and forward thinking. It’s important to consider how you want customers to think of you before you choose a logo.
How Your Logo Can Reassure Your Customers
Because many airline and aviation logos have similar colors, efficient branding requires that you pick a logo that helps your company stand out from the competition. The logo you pick should work with the name of your company and your tag line if you have one. This example for Three Angels Aviation is a a case in point. It uses blue as its primary color, and the entire logo echoes the shape of the wings a pilot earns after passing a solo flight test. The inclusion of angels is a reassuring one, giving the impression that the angels fly alongside the company’s planes, keeping them safe.
As you can see, this logo is unique and yet still reassuring. The imagery is similar to that used by other companies, yet also creative and memorable.
How to Make Your Aviation Firm Stand Out
The reason that companies spend time and money developing a strong brand is that they want to demonstrate their special qualities to potential customers. The competition in the aviation industry is strong, and it is essential to give customers a reason to choose your airline or firm over the others that are available. Here’s how to do that.
The first thing you must do is identify your competition. It’s important to note that not every company will be in direct competition with you. For example, an airline that flies exclusively to one destination has no need to compete with airlines that don’t service that location. An aviation company that manufactures propellers won’t waste time worrying about the branding of a company that makes airline seats. Start by narrowing the competition down, and then make a list of your primary competitors so you can research them.
The second step is to look closely at what your competition has to offer and compare it to what you do. Some airlines differentiate themselves by offering extra leg room or free checked luggage. Luxury airlines might focus on the perks they provide to customers, such as free meals and drinks or seats that lie flat for restful sleep. Figure out what you provide that nobody else does, and then frame it in such a way that it is attractive to customers.
The third step is to look at your customers and what they want. Creating a customer persona involves doing customer research and understanding, on a deep level, who the people are who are most likely to buy from you. If your company offers multiple daily shuttles between two nearby cities, the chances are good that your most loyal customers are business travelers. The more you know about your customers, the easier it will be for you to tailor your marketing campaigns to their particular needs and interests.
Once you have developed your customer avatar, you can move on to the next step.
Marketing Your Aviation Firm
Successful marketing in any industry cannot be haphazard, and that’s particularly true of the aviation industry. With customers placing a high premium on safety, your branding and marketing must do a good job of conveying a sense of reliability and steadiness that shows customers they can trust you. It all starts with a detailed marketing plan.
Tips for Making a Marketing Plan
One of the most common mistakes that companies make is not taking the time to lay out a detailed marketing plan. Marketing is more than a sales pitch. Science backs up many of the most common marketing principles, and putting together a cohesive plan can help save you time and money as well as increasing sales. Here’s how to set up a plan:
1) Determine where your company is right now in terms of sales, profits, and other key metrics.
2) Identify your target customers – in other words, develop a customer persona.
3) Map out your marketing goals – what you hope to accomplish through marketing, such as increasing sales, improving customer loyalty, and so on.
4) Come up with a marketing strategy – a big-picture plan – as well as the marketing tactics that you plan to use to carry out your strategy. For example, a strategy might be to use social media to engage customers and build brand loyalty. A tactic might be creating videos to demonstrate your dedication to customer service.
5) The final step is to put together a detailed marketing budget that specifies the total amount you will spend on marketing and then breaks it down to allocate funds for specific tactics.
The benefit of having a detailed plan is that it ensures that you know where your money is going and why it’s going there. You can then use that information to calculate the return on your investment and tweak your marketing plan as needed.
Ways to Use Your Logo to Improve Brand Recognition
The primary benefit of having a unique aviation logo is that you can and should use it to improve your brand recognition. If your logo looks like many others in the industry, people won’t remember it. However, if you choose something that works with the other elements of branding to make your firm stand out, then the right logo can quickly become synonymous with your brand.
What can you do to use your logo efficiently?
1) Use it as your profile picture on all social media accounts.
2) Include it in marketing materials, including in advertising, emails, and other content.
3) Have fun with it – don’t be afraid to switch it up at times. For example, you might advertise a holiday travel special by taking your usual logo and adding a Santa hat or wreath to it.
The key is to be consistent in using your logo. You need a logo that looks just as good in black and white as it does in color; and just as at home on the side of an airplane as it does on a business card.
Content Marketing Ideas for Aviation Companies
Having the right logo and a detailed marketing plan are important, but neither one will do you any good if you don’t use them in the right way. Content marketing is widely used as a way of connecting with customers and providing them with demonstrable value. Here are some things to try:
1) Create content that is entertaining and informative. For example, you might create a humorous list of travel tips, or write an article about how to cope with jet lag.
2) Integrate customer service with marketing. Airline and aviation customers want reliable and friendly customer service. Many companies are now dealing with customer service issues using social media or mobile apps, and you should follow suit.
3) Focus on mobile customers. People who are traveling often rely on mobile devices when they are away from home. Consider developing a high-quality mobile app to help people track their flights or change reservations as needed, and make sure that your mobile content is just as good as what’s on your website.
These are just a few ideas. As you work out your marketing plan, remember that approximately 80% of the content you share should provide value to your customers, while the remaining 20% can be direct calls to action.
Once you begin to implement your marketing plan, there’s only one thing left to do: measure its performance so you can adjust it as needed.
Perfecting Your Marketing Campaigns
Marketing is a science, and as is the case with any science, testing theories is essential. After you implement a particular marketing tactic, the only way to know if it is garnering the results you want is to track its performance and adjust it until you get the results you want.
Why Tracking Metrics is a Must
Marketing metrics can help you determine what return you are getting on your investment. You might decide to put the bulk of your marketing budget into search engine advertising, but if those ads aren’t generating the response that you want, you need to make a course correction to avoid wasting your valuable resources.
There are numerous metrics and analytical tools you can use to track a marketing campaign’s performance. Google Analytics can help you track customer behavior on your website. Facebook Insights provides valuable information about which posts get the most engagement, and most autoresponder software offers analytical tools to help you track the performance of your marketing emails. Careful analysis should include metrics from several sources as needed.
Split Testing Ideas and Guidelines
After you have analyzed your metrics and determined which marketing campaigns can be improved, the next step is to come up with a hypothesis to test. For example, you might decide that the headline on your Facebook ad could be better, or that the font used on your home page is not readable enough. Split testing requires you to:
Develop a hypothesis to test
Create an alternative – a different headline or font
Set up split testing software to direct half of your traffic to the old option, and half to the new
As a rule, you want to test for at least a week to ensure that you are getting enough traffic to generate a scientifically valid response. If at the end of that time you determine that the new headline is outperforming the old one by 5%, you can update your home page and come up with a new hypothesis to test. Over time, this process has the potential to greatly increase your ROI.
In the aviation industry, marketing and branding is the key to success. Everything about your brand – your logo, the voice you use in your marketing material and on social media, and the places that you post content – should work together to present a clear and reassuring image to your customers. If you can do that, your marketing campaigns will be successful.