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Kingfisher had introduced many ‘Industry first’ features, offering inflight entertainment on every seat in the domestic routes. The main objective of the Kingfisher Airlines ad campaign was to create a buzz for the Valentine’s Day offer where passengers could win a diamond free on every Kingfisher Airline. Solutions offered by 160by2 for the Kingfisher Airlines ad campaign included the following: Age-wise targeting: Based on the TG and the market presence of Kingfisher Airlines, tagged messages were sent to people aged 25 years and above which were created by 160 by 2. The taglines were designed to create a buzz about the Valentine’s Day offer. Keyword targeting: All the messages included keywords like holiday, trip, meeting, enjoy, journey, friend, love, travel, sweetheart, fly, etc and were tagged to the Kingfisher Airlines Ad. Template tagging: Templates are pre-defined messages forwarded by 160 b 2 users to their respective contacts. This is one of the most interesting offers of 160 by 2 with the help of which advertisers can accurately target their customers. Templates like Friendship, Love and Valentine’s Day were tagged with the Kingfisher ad text. This solution did not only promote Kingfisher Airlines but the Valentine’s Day offer as well. Post View: After the tagged messages were sent by 160 by 2 to the users, a link was provided with the Kingfisher logo thereby directing the users to the Kingfisher Airlines website. Forward Contest: A forward contest for the 160 by 2 users with the Kingfisher Airlines ad text was to be forwarded to the peer user groups to create a further buzz about the Kingfisher’s Valentine’s Day offer. The user who would forward the most number of SMS’s in his contacts was rewarded with a gift hamper. Kingfisher Landing Page and WAP Page: 160 by 2 hosted a page on its website that was dedicated to the Kingfisher Airlines. The landing page sought to promote Kingfisher’s Valentine’s Day offer. The landing page also contained the details of the offer, Kingfisher Airlines flight schedule, city guide line and fly buy SMS link. A WAP page was also created for the Kingfisher Airlines. This page contained the details about the pendant, the flight schedules, city guide link and the fly buy SMS link. The WAP service was provided for mobile users with GPRS connection in their mobiles.
Professor Student Contributors: Arun Subramoniam. However. A survey has been conducted to identify the psychology of economy travellers and how Kingfisher Red has fared on the parameters that had been cited by the sample. Branding Kingfisher KFA is a pioneer in the concept of bringing luxury. in order to ensure that they remain leaders in air travel. red-the colour of vibrancy. Geraj Vinny Rajesh. Taking off from the primary research. It marketed itself as a budget airline targeting the middle of the market. This article aims to understand the reason for this step down even as it characterizes the needs of an air traveller. vibrancy and lifestyle. in order to comprehend how Kingfisher managed its brand and seamlessly incorporated a low cost carrier in its kitty of premium airlines. glamour and lifestyle to the skies. to invite . Kingfisher Class is the aspirational premium economy service of KFA focused on the growing middle-class that is trendy. Owned by India's biggest liquor baron. This article delves into the merger of Air Deccan and Kingfisher. KFA has carved a distinct position for itself by its flamboyant lifestyle image and by offering a great flying experience with comfort seating. KFA has adopted a plethora of marketing strategies since its inception and continues to do so in its growth stage. personalized entertainment and services to its passengers. Sundar Rajan G S The Kingfisher brand has always been associated with glamour. Kingfisher Class and Kingfisher Red. initially. Ravi Parimi. Its marketing efforts aimed at building a distinct brand image for KFA play a huge role in the success of the airlines. and added hospitality which made every passenger feel like a guest on board-a-craft. the Kingfisher Airlines started operations in May 2005 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the United Breweries Holdings Limited. Kingfisher Red is the low fare service of KFA focused on the growing middle class who are price conscious. there seemed to be a clear mismatch between the two brands. The brand image of the parent Kingfisher brand gave further credibility to its marketing campaigns. KFA today offers three unique classes of service -Kingfisher First. It used multiple promotional campaigns. When the premium airlines player made a move to acquire the largest low cost carrier in India. It also examines whether Kingfisher was right in straddling itself along the economy-luxury axis and the parameters it would have to meet to regain lost ground. from having India's top model Yana Gupta on flight. Kingfisher Red had recently been displaced by Indigo Airlines as the preferred low cost carrier for Indian customers. Vijay Mallya. to schemes on discounted tickets. Monomita Roy. savvy and upwardly mobile. It entered the Indian aviation market at a time when the low cost service model had galvanized the market and made air-travel accessible to the Indian middle class. Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) is one of the finest luxury airlines of India1.Brand management : The Kingfisher Airlines Saga Faculty Contributor: Mithileshwar Jha. Kingfisher first is the business class service of KFA focused on business class passengers who are willing to spend for premium services. Mr. featuring India's then top models. Based in Bangalore. Kingfisher airlines sold the concept of lifestyle through its glamorous airhostesses. the article identifies certain approaches that KFA must take up going forward.
the airlines industry soon entered a phase of consolidation with mergers like JetAir Sahara and Indian Airlines-Air India. it may have eroded the 'loyal' customer base that Air Deccan enjoyed due to its 'emotional connect' with its customers. Unfazed. Some of these initiatives have been summarized in Exhibit 1. eliminating the Deccan name altogether. However. . After a period of ten months. Instead. Kingfisher's red and white replaced Deccan's yellow and blue. in-flight reading material. While Simplify Deccan was a no-frills low cost carrier. hence the tag 'Simplify Deccan'. At the same time. sometimes even entering into advertisement wars with its competitors. he is from Venus. Simplifly Deccan was rebranded to Kingfisher Red6. the Indian economy started to boom and the airlines industry entered a phase of unprecedented growth. keeping up Kingfisher's brand promise. Kingfisher Red offered new features like web check-in. Exhibit 1 Marketing Expansion & Branding Initiatives4 From Air Deccan to Simplify Deccan to Kingfisher Red and Beyond We are from different planets. KFA changed the logo to the Kingfisher bird5 depicting vibrancy and activity. when Kingfisher had established the fact that people could associate 'Simplifly Deccan' with Kingfisher by means of the image makeover of the former's crew and fleet. and establishing the movement of the airline towards the Kingfisher 'flying experience'7. This launched KFA in to its growth phase. At the same time. and frequent flier programs8. I from Mars Captain Gopinath on Vijay Mallya KFA. on its merger with Air Deccan. had they directly changed the name to Kingfisher Red. retained the name 'Deccan' in the new entity because of its tremendous recall value in the LCC segment. This eroded the KFA value offering.people to experience the 'good flying' concept. Kingfisher Red highlighted the 'delight of flying' in spite of offering low fares. Kingfisher evolved into a full-fledged carrier and continued to pursue aggressive marketing strategies.
Kingfisher Red has carved for itself a straddle position: low fare flying with the experience of a premium one . which would comprise the entire set of value added services like personalized entertainment that KFA (Class & First) provides. Of late. This is followed by a need for convenience. It is the only airline that offers additional services compared to other traditional low cost carriers and yet economical compared to full service carriers.KFA is all set to redefine the low cost carrier (LCC) segment by using Kingfisher Red as a flanker brand. convenience. that Kingfisher Red offers. food etc. And finally luxury. we conducted an opinion survey of 50 people to understand the consumer psychology for the airlines industry and appreciate the way ahead for the airlines. which includes in-flight reading material. The fact that the customer chooses a LCC indicates one's sensitivity to price and hence economy seems to be the first basic need. It hopes to foster loyalty amongst its customers through such positioning. appropriate baggage handling etc. the answers to which point out the shortcomings in the management's strategy. comfort and luxury. The remainder of this article analyses Kingfisher's strategic positioning and raises some pertinent questions. a move aimed to regain its lost market share from Indigo. akin to the "Maslow's hierarchy of needs" concept.a premium low cost carrier as it proudly calls itself. Exhibit 2 Hierarchy of flyer needs . Following this is a need for comfort. An exhaustive market survey done by Kingfisher revealed that an average flier even in the low cost segment expects certain basic services. Perhaps. In order to corroborate and give credence to our analysis and to capture more opinions. which recently replaced Kingfisher Red at the top. Kingfisher Red is positioned between a low cost and full service carrier. which would translate into wants like punctuality. (i) Has Kingfisher Successfully Understood Customer Needs? A typical LCC customer would have certain basic needs: economy. Kingfisher is offering free wholesome Indian meals on its flights9. the higher order need might appeal only when the lower order one has been satisfied.
This is so since Kingfisher Red is not even remotely close to the lifestyle advantage offered by Kingfisher Class. While Kingfisher Red has focused on services like tele-booking. This would lead to dissatisfaction when the customer flies Kingfisher Red. (iv) How does Kingfisher Red's Promise Impact Customer Satisfaction? With the Kingfisher Red campaign emphasizing the shift towards the spirit of 'good flying'.(ii) Has it Ignored Points of Parity and Given Too much Importance to Points of Difference? While Kingfisher Red has focused on higher order needs of the customer. The model of an increasing number of value added services along with low prices seems like a 'best-of-both-worlds' that might be difficult to sustain. those who value economy and those who don't mind paying an extra buck for grub. customer expectations might be raised to the level of the experience that Kingfisher Class offers. low price (especially) whereas Kingfisher Red's point of difference is clearly the comfort and the delight experience that the airline highlights. Is the price-sensitive consumer ready to bear this for getting a 'free' meal? With the LCC customer being most concerned about price than any other dimension of value-added services. The Points of Parity comprise basic services like scheduling. In Kingfisher Red's case. (iii) How Sustainable is the Concept of Premium Low Cost Carrier? Costs increase in proportion to the services offered. cleanliness. it has ignored the lower order needs of the customer like economy and punctuality.400 INR. Taking the case of meals on the airline. Indigo is the most preferred choice of consumers in the LCC segment because it delivers extremely well on the price and punctuality dimensions. Hence. as his experience would not live up to his expectations. Perhaps the Spicejet model of selling food on-flight is a better answer. as it enables the airline to cater to the needs of both the classes of customers. the key to positioning now remains not so much in highlighting the points of difference as much in focusing on the points of parity. free food etc. connectivity. Exhibit 3 Survey results about expectations The survey clearly shows that people expect basic services from Kingfisher like cheaper tickets and adherence to schedules before facilities like free food. a meal increases the price of a ticket by 300 . it has ignored the lower order needs of the customer like economy and punctuality. any addition of value-added services would further erode the value of the airline with respect to the prices that it can offer. increasing fares in order to offer a not-much-sought-after 'free' meal may not be the best move. Hence it might be .
(v) Is Kingfisher Red a Threat to the Kingfisher's Brand Identity? With Kingfisher Red not really gelling in with the entire Kingfisher portfolio of products and services. Would it have helped to not associate the colour Red with the Kingfisher Red and create a distinct image? Exhibit 4 Survey result shows confusion From the results of the primary survey summarized in Exhibit 4. having already undergone rebranding twice. Kingfisher could focus on the promotional campaigns which had been described earlier to distinguish between Kingfisher and Kingfisher Red. After all. it wouldn't be wise to rebrand Kingfisher Red yet again. Kingfisher Red has tried to match up to Kingfisher in a number of stark areas. The word association tests that were carried out on the respondents indicate that "Red" is the first word that comes to one's mind when Kingfisher Airlines is mentioned (Exhibit 5). there should be campaigns for Kingfisher First and Kingfisher Class that accentuate the flamboyancy and luxury offerings. the frugality of the brand may impact the brand equity of Kingfisher.better for the promotional campaigns of Kingfisher Red to highlight only what one can realistically expect of Kingfisher Red. However. . for example. Instead. Exhibit 5 Survey results on word association with KFA It may have been worthwhile to not donate the highest recall factor of Kingfisher to its flanker brand's name in the first place. At the same time. the colour red itself. 55%+ of people say that there is confusion between the brands Kingfisher and Kingfisher Red.
he would prefer to travel by Spicejet again.(vi) Has Kingfisher Factored in the 'Brand Loyalty' that Operates in this Segment? Delving into consumer psychology. in future. Therefore. it seems that once a passenger has a pleasant experience with a particular LCC and develops an image of reliability. as it does not send out a very clear positioning message and may only serve to drive away customers from both ends of the market segment. there exists a strong case for Kingfisher to cash in on this brand loyalty found in LCC segment. Kingfisher has 3 product offerings: premium business. However. in the current scenario. Also. For this to happen. Once these concerns are addressed. premium economy and premium low cost. people will tend to stick to Kingfisher Red. in any direction depending on the future course of the industry. instead of serving both. if need be. . Exhibit 6 graphically denotes the reasons why Kingfisher Red has failed to deliver on its promises. it must first fix the points of dissatisfaction like punctuality and safety concerns. Kingfisher would have high flexibility to change its product mix amongst the three classes contingent on segment attractiveness and changing customer wants. this very positioning and market coverage may be the best thing to do. even if there are seats available in other LCCs within a similar price band. if a person has a built a good impression of Spicejet. It becomes a source of competitive advantage as it gives Kingfisher the flexibility to consolidate its position. The person switches only when there is no flight from Spicejet at his convenient time of departure. he/she prefers to stick to the LCC. Exhibit 6 Survey results about why people do not prefer Kingfisher Red (vii) Is Kingfisher's Current Positioning and Market Coverage a Source of Competitive Advantage? With the introduction of Kingfisher Red. at a time when the future of the aviation industry is uncertain. Kingfisher's offerings span the entire market. Taking an example from our survey. Such a strategy is generally not a very good one.
The idea is amalgamate the two ends of the spectrum. Medium & Heavy Commercial Vehicles References 1.org/wiki/Kingfisher Airlines. Wikipedia. Chennai and can be reached at geraj. Kingfisher Red ads can be more subtle focusing on firstname.lastname@example.org. in Computer Science Engineering from National Institute of Technology (NIT) Trichy and can be reached at sundar.ernet. He can be reached at mjha@iimb. en. Tech.ernet. 2009. while clearly spelling out to customers the differences between its premium and budget classes.S (PGP 2008-10) a B. Tech.The Way Ahead for the King of Good Times Kingfisher Airlines should focus on bridging its 'points-of-parity' before enhancing its points of differences. KFA should consider implementing a promotional campaign in mass media which educates people about Kingfisher & Kingfisher Red. It can be along the lines of "Queen of your heart deserves to fly like one" campaign10 which Kingfisher launched in December 2007.in Arun Subramoniam (PGP 2008-10) holds a B. Light Commercial Vehicles. "Kingfisher Airlines".wikipedia. in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and can be reached at monomita.in Sundar Rajan G. Authors Prof. comfort & experience. Tata Motors.in Ravi Parimi (PGP 2008-10) holds a BE (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from BITS Pilani and can be reached at ravi.flykingfisher. which focused on emphasizing a comfortable journey for women.subramoniam08@iimb. http://www. Automotives.vinny08@iimb. "Fly Kingfisher". .com.parimi08@iimb. 2. Mithileshwar Jha is a Professor in the Marketing area at IIM Bangalore. India. Degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from National Institute of Technology (NIT) Trichy and can be reached at arun.in Monomita Roy (PGP 2008-10) holds a B. Tech. It must improve its performance on key parameters like punctuality & air fares and should not introduce points of differences which increase the air fare of Kingfisher Red. Last accessed on: 20th September.ernet. to keep the consolidated identify of Kingfisher.in Keywords Strategy.roy08@iimb. While Kingfisher can continue with flashy ads featuring models depicting exuberance and lifestyle. in Information Technology from Velammal Engineering College. Last accessed on: 20th September. Globalization.in Geraj Vinny Rajesh (PGP 2008-10) a B. Tech. 2009. He obtained his Fellowship Programme in Management and his Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Agriculture) from the Indian Institute of Ahemedabad.ernet.
Last accessed on: 20th September.ibtimes.org.is the essence of strategic marketing. www.org/publications/Issue6_shah_kingfisher. Rajiv Fernando." (Kotler. "Finally Deccan paves way for Kingfisher Red".html. and the formulation of specific marketing mix and positioning objective for each product or service the organization will offer. 2009. 2009 7.com/b/2008/09/18/kingfisher-red-offers-free-food-on-flights. 2009. "Kingfisher Airlines . 2009 4. www. "Kingfisher Red airlines overview".airlineinformation. Shashidhar. 2009.com. eConference 2007 .htm. 10. Kingfisher Airlines Limited". www. goindia. "Interview with Girish Shah .Issue 6.The 'Funliner' experience". But market segmentation need not be a purely adaptive strategy: The process of market segmentation can also consist of the selection of those segments for which a firm might be particularly well suited to serve by having competitive advantages relative to competitors in the segment. Last accessed on: 20th September. Ixigo.ixigo.com/YT/specialOffers/kingfisher_red. 8. Hello Kingfisher Red". Last accessed on: 20th September. Chatterjee Surojit. 2007.htm. 2006.labnol. Last accessed on: 20th September. According to Porter. p. reducing the cost of adaptation in order to gain a niche.about. In its first phase. Yatra. The strategic marketing planning process flows from a mission and vision statement to the selection of target markets. Last accessed on: 20th September.yatra. "Kingfisher Red offers free food on flights". http://www. select the appropriate market target.com/2006/04/14/stories/2006041401220800.ixi.com/articles/20080901/air-deccan-kingfisher-red-budget-airlines-vijaymallya.icmrindia. 93). Surekha Pothraju. "Bye bye Air Deccan.Marketing head. The formula segmentation. Market segmentation is an adaptive strategy. 2009. choosing the value.org/india/corporate/finally-deccan-paves-way-for-kingfisher-red/4331/. 2008. which can have a "powerful effect on competitive advantage because it shapes the configuration of the value chain. "Kingfisher bets on co-branding promos". 1985. Ajita. 2009. positioning (STP) . This application of market segmentation serves the purpose of developing competitive scope. Last accessed on: 20th September. the strategist "proceeds to segment the market. 53). Last accessed on: 20th September.3.html. and develop the offer's value positioning. targeting. 5. the fact that segments differ widely in structural attractiveness and their requirements for competitive advantage brings about two crucial strategic questions: the . Leading authors like Kotler present the organization as a value creation and delivery sequence. www.htm. in.thehindubusinessline. 2008. Last accessed on: 20th September. 6.com. p." (Porter. 2009. 9. It consists of the partition of the market with the purpose of selecting one or more market segments which the organization can target through the development of specific marketing mixes that adapt to particular market needs. http://www. 1994.com/html/info/airlines/kingfisherRed.
Mallya signed a deal with Airbus to acquire 14 A-320s for his Kingfisher Airlines to be launched in April. . For starters. (c) The third criteria refers to efficiency potential in terms of feasibility and cost of reaching a segment (Wilkie. 1993). he did not mind fielding questions on his airline venture.500 of them and personally prepare a list of who to send it to. Segmentation as a process consists of segment identification. we've always sponsored music and fashion shows. 231). the firm creates monopolistic or oligopolistic market conditions through the utilization of various curves of demand for a specific product category (Ferstman. Excerpts from the interview with Business Standard: This is your third edition of the swimwear calendar. In addition. But it is a coveted piece of art. brand building exercise. I print about 1. Though Mallya was keen to discuss his 'beautiful' calendars. Vijay Mallya. Stated in economic terms.5 per cent stake in United Breweries [Get Quote] Limited for Rs 940 crore (Rs 9. The calendar extends our association with fashion and celebrates the fashion designers and models. Is it big business? The calendars are not for sale so there is no money in it. segment selection and the creation of marketing mixes for target segments. (b) Systematic behaviors: a true segment must meet the practical requirement of reacting similarly to a particular marketing mix. has hit the headlines for inking some major business deals.. UK's Scottish & Newcastle bought a 37. 1990). The outcome of the segmentation process should yield "true market segments" which meet three criteria: (a) Group identity: true segments must be groupings that are homogeneous within segments and heterogeneous across groups. The maverick Member of Parliament (Janta Dal Secular) also introduced the third edition of the much-coveted swimwear calendar.. Basically. 1985. C. & Muller. E.determination of (a) where in an industry to compete and (b) in which segments would focus strategies be sustainable by building barriers between segments (Porter. Chairman. UB Group. Gunter (1992) recommends considering the stability of market segments over time and different market conditions. UB Group's IT solutions company also acquired a couple of IT consulting services companies in the US.40 billion). I am very passionate about the Kingfisher brand and the calendar is one of the manifestations of the ongoing. Through market segmentation the firm can provide higher value to customers by developing a market mix that addresses the specific needs and concerns of the selected segment. p. That's not all. In the last three weeks. Since the traditional advertising media is not available to us [read liquor brands].
But the business is meteoric in nature. But we are not copycats. Yes. It makes for a good business case. All the seats will have individual TV sets. We will have eight aircraft in the first year of operation and 16 by the second year. but in an emerging market. What's Kingfisher Airlines' positioning? The airline will offer one single Kingfisher Class for all. But government restrictions prohibited us from buying new planes. There'll be no business class. We operated scheduled flights in 1990 with two Dorniers. in the same way.But why use swimwear every year? Are you copying Pirelli? I must admit that I was inspired by Pirelli. My fares will be 25 per cent lower than Jet Airways. The front and the back rows will be treated royally. If an aircraft is not flying in India. but charged janata fares. . There were so many restrictions that one day I said I don't want to be in this business. And yes. Everybody from Azim Premji downwards at Wipro travels economy. I actually wanted to shoot in Angkor Wat (Cambodia) but was weary of the mahila sangathans knocking at my door for defiling the temples. why start an airline? Isn't it a highly capital intensive and foolhardy business to get into? An airline is not a new idea for Kingfisher. The advantage is that we are not launching in a mature market where it may be tough to survive. Which other country has seen a 27 per cent growth in airline traffic? What kind of an airline are you planning? Our airline will be modelled after the US carrier JetBlue. Kingfisher is the king of good times and ghagras do not go with the brand image. it is capital intensive but it is the only business where the assets are moveable. This year the beaches have been replaced by a walk on the wild side in South Africa. All are Airbus and 174 seaters. We have chosen brand new aircraft. it can fly in Australia. It will be a low-cost operation but the aircraft will have frills. You have noticed that companies are encouraging their executives to travel in the economy class. On the business side. it will always be swimwear. But it is not a foolhardy business any longer with 27 per cent growth in passenger traffic in one year.
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