Shaun Smith: Does Ryanair offer a branded customer experience?by
I'm currently researching leading brands for my forthcoming book ‘Bold brands - how to be brave in business and win’. There are some obvious examples that we shall include but one brand that is causing us to pause for thought is Ryanair. Our research and experience of working with many leading brands suggests that those organisations that have a crystal clear view of their strategy and communicate their value proposition to target customers will outperform their sector. We also believe that the more focused organisations are in creating a customer experience that delivers their brand promise the more likely it is that they will win share of mind and ultimately, share of market.
- Consistent. Ryanair certainly demonstrates consistency. This is not an organisation that wobbles between one strategy and another.
- Intentional. Anyone that proposes to charge for using the lavatory and is willing to face the ensuing public outcry has though very carefully about the intended action and its consequences. The rudeness of Ryanair staff is only exceeded by the rudeness of CEO Michael O’Leary himself. We always suggest to our clients that leaders must epitomise the culture and DNA of the brand in their own behaviour. Michael O’Leary understands this and demonstrates his disdain for customers just as much as Richard Branson demonstrates his own passion for innovation
- Differentiated. There is only one Ryanair. The airline has set its stall out on the basis of a totally frills-free experience at the very lowest cost. It has opened up the market for many people who could not have afforded to have flown but, unlike other low cost airlines, it doesn’t even pretend to care about service.
- Valuable. Value is defined as what you get for what you pay. With Ryanair you don’t get much but you don’t pay much either and to that extent their proposition is very valuable for those customers for whom low price is everything. Let’s face it, you can put up with quite a lot for a short flight if you can get there for less than the price of a McDonald’s.
Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 20 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined MyCustomer in 2007.