What can aviation marketers learn from a body scanner for women’s jeans?

Empowering customers via technology builds brand loyalty

MeAlity is a “digital sizing station” installed in 30 malls nationwide. The stations take 10- to 15-second body scans of shoppers, matching their measurements against those of  in-store and online merchandise to recommend brands, styles and sizes likely to fit and flatter them best.

Airlines looking to boost brand loyalty and net promoter scores could learn a thing or two from the lead of Me-Ality.

Making air travel a pleasure again

Imagine in the not-too-distant future that when you receive an email from the airline, it actually provides something of value besides the latest routes for discounted fares providing you can travel from certain cities on specific dates.

What if the airline has a ‘scan’ of your personal profile as it pertains to travel habits, personal and shopping preferences, family members’ locations, etc.?

Now what if the email you received provided transparent pricing for travel and a host of other discount offers ranging from car rental to hotels to restaurants, entertainment venues, retail outlets, even grocery stores in the location you will be visiting.

Let’s take this a step further. You’ve checked in online, secured your boarding pass, and several hours before departure you receive a text with the latest traffic conditions affecting your travel from the airport. Add to this information on available parking with a Google map with directions to the closest or least expensive parking lots.

Upon entering the airport you scan an RFID tag that gives you the estimated time to get through security. Armed with this information, you are able to make informed decisions as to time allocation.

Taking your seat, you are greeted by an attendant that hands you a Wi-Fi enabled device programmed with a personal preference list of entertainment menus for movies, news, music, and sports. Why not push it to online shopping from your favorite e-tailers while in flight?

What does this accomplish?

  • First, it brings transparency to the relationship between the brand and the user – the feeling of personal service that is being provided in a manner that makes your life easier during the trip.
  • Secondly, it’s using social media to extend the relationship past a monetary transaction for services rendered.  A social covenant with the brand is built that extends throughout the entire trip.
  • Third, it builds brand advocacy. The net promoter score is really a very simple single question, “Would you recommend flying with this airline to a friend?”
  • With door-to-door social marketing, I would bet the answer is YES.

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