31.10.08

Eroding a Brand

It can take years to build up a brand. As well as lots of money, hard work and consistent performance yet it just takes months to unravel a brand. Let’s look at Qantas. Qantas 10 years ago was undisputably one of the world’s best airlines known for safety, reliability, quality aircraft, professional and capable staff, generous membership programs and a choice of extensive travel routes.

Something seems to be going wrong. In recent months the media is full of stories about the poor performance of Qantas. It seems as though this magnificent Australian brand which had an enviable position in the market place is truly unravelling before our very eyes. There have been reported issues of safety, issues of reliability and my recent experience suggests a serious decline in customer service. From a marketing perspective Qantas has mucked around with its most valuable assets – a strong competitive advantage difficult to copy. Sadly they seem to becoming mediocre like many other airlines and with a new budget airline specialist as chief I am concerned what other poor decisions will be made that affect the customer experience. Qantas should never have risked their safety and reliability. An exceptional safety record is hard to achieve, hard for anyone to compete with and something most people are prepared to pay for.

Where is the original value proposition gone? I don’t think the poor performance of Qantas shares can be solely blamed on the economic crisis! Without turning this blog into a bash Qantas site, what are your thoughts?

Tips for a strong brand

  • Don’t muck with your best assest
  • Identify your key value proposition and protect it at all costs
  • Consider the impact operational decisions may have on your brand

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