What we can all learn from Emirates
Emirates is one of the most recognisable companies on the planet. It is the world's largest international airline, with a network that spans 159 destinations in 85 countries, and its red and white logo can be seen pretty much everywhere you look, even on the moon (just kidding!).
But Emirates is so much more than an airline, it’s a lifestyle brand. Over the course of just 30 years, the company has managed to build an incredibly strong image and inject its identity and personality into everything it does.
But how did they manage to get it so right?
The first thing to note is that airlines can’t survive if they only sell first or business class seats. The biggest profits are to be made in economy. So with that in mind why not make the experience worthwhile for economy passengers? Well, Emirates does.
The service is exceptional, the planes are brand new and roomy and the prices are pretty reasonable, but the main reason people choose to fly Emirates is because of how the brand makes them feel. Emirates makes people feel special, welcomed and appreciated. People also associate Emirates with things like luxury, success and comfort.
But when most of us think of Emirates, what immediately comes to mind is the air hostesses. They are walking, talking ambassadors for brand. Unlike some airlines, they are young, friendly, attractive, helpful and courteous. Red hats, white veils, tan suits. Emirates oozes understated glamour, grace and sophistication.
A lot of time and effort clearly goes into selecting the right people for the job. And it makes perfect sense. Air hostesses are the first and last people we see. Then there are the little extra touches here and there that make a huge difference. A lavender scented hot towel for example, can be just the ticket for a weary traveller.
But even that doesn’t justify the top dollar you pay to take a flight with the world’s most successful airline, right?
Well the service doesn’t stop with the hot towel. Over the course of the flight, Emirates continues to bring you little luxuries that make a long trip not just tolerable, but enjoyable. From the meals that include everything from toothpicks to mints, the hand lotion and perfumes in the bathrooms, the award-winning on-board entertainment system, it’s just that little bit better than other airlines.
The Emirates experience is all about the customer experience and they knows just how important that is in a world of constant penny pinching and making do. Emirates makes itself highly visible too, which helps keep the brand top of mind and in our consciousness.
Football, cricket, tennis, rugby, you name it, Emirates probably sponsors it. Emirates is also one of the most active airline brands on social media. They became the first airline to hit 500,000 followers on LinkedIn and the first airline to hit the coveted one million follower mark on Instagram.
With this approach to branding, experience and customer service, Emirates has become more than just a service provider, but a luxury brand in its own right.