The importance of brand to airlines with Dr Stathis Kefallonitis

Recently we had the chance to interview Dr Stathis Kefallonitis, Founder and President of Branding.Aero. Kefallonitisis is considered a world expert on passenger engagement strategies and a transport industry thought-leader.

With a diverse background that ranges from industrial design to brand experience, sensory marketing, consumer neuroscience and biometrics, Stathis joins us to talk about the trends impacting the industry, how the pandemic is redesigning the passenger experience and the importance of the brand value proposition as the aviation industry focuses on its recovery.

Watch the full interview below:

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Key insights from the interview

  • “Things will be different – a lot of things will actually be better. One area which we should have focused on the way before the pandemic is how to demonstrate clear, tangible value to the passenger so that he/she can continue to remain loyal to airlines and keep coming back.”
  • “Simplify things and demonstrate a clear value – this is the way to go and this is where we’ll see great examples coming out after this pandemic.”
  • “As humans, it’s really important for us to develop bonds with brands. In the branding world, we refer to these as unique associations. We need to go beyond and emphasise how this translates into product features, service components as well as how all this creates tangible value.”
  • “We need to identify unique brand characteristics – and emphasis this even more in the onboard branded service experience.”
  • “We need to use this time carefully to revisit the entire passenger journey and take it to 2021, 2022 and see how we can shake things up!”
  • “It’s no secret, we cannot change seats overnight because we require certification which can take years…what’s going to change is the service component.”
  • “There are opportunities, and money to be made. There are exciting moments to generate.”
  • “It’s one of the most critical times in our industry. So we need to get it right. The things we were doing before, won’t work anymore. Innovation is key.”
  • “Revenue generation for airlines – especially as numbers drop down to record levels, everyone is looking to retain and increase business and make money. We’re still referring to human beings – passengers with emotions – that go through a selection process when choosing an airline over its competitor. We really need to create and promote a value proposition.”

About WTCE and AIX:

  • “Once a year we come together from all sides of the industry and we share ideas, we challenge each other which is important in learning. To come together under one roof and shape the industry –  that’s what I’ve missed the most.”
  • “We’re not just dealing with the service component, but actually material things from cabin seating to furnishings to food and beverage – everything adds up to the experience and we need to see it and meet live.”
  • “We come together, we generate dialogue, we challenge each other and we learn.”

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World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) is the leading global event for travel catering, onboard retail and passenger comfort. WTCE is renowned globally for providing a platform for innovative suppliers to showcase the latest products and services in passenger comfort, catering and travel retail to help create the ultimate passenger experience.