Surviving for now is dying to tomorrow

Let me address the valid points Krishnasagar's raised. He talks of 'survival' being important, of formation of cartels, of public memory being short, and about how airlines need to communicate.

Sure, survival's important, but I wonder how much money rival airlines may have raised because they overcharged customers. Sure, demand-supply scenarios justifiy price hikes. But what it doesn't take into consideration is future revenues that could accrue due to loyalties built. Loyalty as result of showing you care enough not to raise prices at a time when you can.

A generic question. When has someone cared? And if someone did, do you remember the act for life? My bet is you do. We live in a cynical, opportunism driven world. Acts of kindnes are rare and far in between. And so when it happens, it stands out starkly against the backdrop of an unkind world. Again, when have you felt genuine care on the part of a business concern? Rarely. So when it happens, are you pleasently surprised? Delighted? I bet, you are. Let me illustrate. I now have been shopping at Spar consistently for more than a year. This despite the fact that getting to the store at Bangalore on the Inner Ring Road requires me go up a road, wait at a signal, take a U turn to reach the store. Again, despite the fact that I pay parking charges (introduced later in its operations). Here's why. Also note, I did try out Star Bazaar at Bangalore. But I didn't return. That was almost a year and half ago. Here's why and why.

Bottomline? I remember.

About cartels, sure they may crop up, but tell you what, its a life lived on the edge, with the cartel arrangements susceptible to breaking down any time. And that's when the consumer turns ruthless playing one brand against the other, trying to get the best bargain deal. Note, switching costs are almost non existent.

About airlines communicating to consumers, here's the best scenario. Don't hike prices. Help flyers out of their limbos. Get the press to cover the act. Subtly. The resulting publicity would be something a million dollars on Advertising can't buy. The icing on the Cake? A probable outcome of Brand Loyalty. That's revenue inflows for a lifetime.

Any day, that should be a brand's first pick.

Comments

nikhil said…
the target segment of these low cost airlines is so price conscious that i doubt that they will remember this helping act at the time of crises.

star bazaar has also the same target segment which prefer low price than good customer service.

and i bet, this price conscious segment will not impress by kind of gesture that spar manager did if they feel that prices are low in star bazaar as compared to spar.
nikhil said…
you are not the target segment of star bazaar and big bazaar.
target segment is the masses who are ready to take pain of bad customer service for low cost.
nikhil said…
as said by seth godin this Saviour act will impress people who are at the edges.
but it may not impress who are at the center i.e masses.
because they are not obsessed with themselves. They don't give much importance to whether you care about them or not.
nikhil said…
i am marketing student. i learned most of the marketing concepts from your blogs. keep it up
Prof.Ray Titus said…
Nikhil,

Thank you. Truly appreciate your comments. Will respond to them soon.

Cheers :)

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