The Travel Industry is in Need of Some Lovin’
By now we all know that any good relationship takes work. And the top participation brands constantly put in the work by keeping their audience engaged in meaningful ways. But when we were looking at the top brands we noticed the absence of travel brands. Perhaps the travel industry has spent so many years disappointing customers that we have become numb to any attempt they make to engage. Like a jilted lover, you can only say sorry so many times before it loses all meaning.
Upon investigation the data revealed that the travel segment, and airlines in particular, score the lowest against every single Participation pillar. And when you look at the emotions that are associated with the segment, travel scores the highest in apathy and the lowest in love. The one exception is AirBnB who dominate when it comes to category innovation and doing so has made it the bright spot in the segment. Consumers see them as a leadership brand who are changing what we consider possible in how we travel. A brand ‘with as much importance in the future as relevance today’.
It doesn’t have to be like this. In the UK, airlines Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and British Airways rank highly in the Index. In the US, the performance of AirBnB, and to a lesser extent Tripit, remind us that for many consumers travel is one of the greatest passion points there is. If a brand can innovate its way past the obvious barriers to deliver a more people-powered, positive experience the opportunities to rise above the rest of the category are clear.