A new survey of business aviation professionals reveals just one in three believes the sector has a positive image, with 64% describing it as either ‘negative’ or ‘neutral’.
The survey was conducted by the international communications agency Citigate Dewe Rogerson, which has a specialist team focusing on business aviation. The findings from the study are published in a new report entitled The Growing Importance of Branding in Business Aviation.
“The growth of social media, the digital revolution taking place in the business aviation sector and the huge opportunities presented by the growing number of people using business aircraft for the first time means brand has never been more important,” said Phil Anderson, Executive Director, Citigate Dewe Rogerson. “However, our findings show that many people working in the sector feel it has a negative image in the wider world and it needs to be more proactive in promoting its many benefits for economies and the wider communities.”
The study also revealed that just 9% of business aviation professionals believe the industry is ‘very effective’ at communicating its many benefits such as its contribution to economic growth and its creation of jobs.
“If the industry and the companies working in it can improve their image, it should help fuel growth, which will benefit everyone”
“As the industry becomes more focused on the importance of brand, 78% of business aviation professionals we interviewed believe companies in the sector will invest more in their brands over the next three years – with one in five believing there will be a significant increase in the amount spent here,” says Anderson. “This is a positive sign because if the industry and the companies working in it can improve their image, it should help fuel growth, which will benefit everyone.”
When it comes to the wider mainstream media, two thirds feel the sector only gets media coverage when there has been a crash or scandal. Indeed 56% of those interviewed feel the recent publication of the Panama Papers had a negative impact on the industry’s image, and just 13% believe the sector did a respectable job in defending its reputation during this period.
In respect of individual organisations working in the business aviation sector, only 11% of those interviewed think companies have been ‘very effective’ in developing their brands.
Some 44% of business aviation professionals interviewed believe companies operating in the sector are hampered by the poor image of the industry, and only 35% think senior management at these organisations take their brands seriously enough.
“Great brand management does not need to be expensive to be effective”
Over the next three to five years, 34% of business aviation professionals think brand profiles will become ‘much more important’ in the sector, and 31% think their importance will increase ‘slightly’. In terms of why they believe this, 47% say it’s because competition in the sector will increase, and this is followed by 45% who say it’s because customers and business partners are becoming more demanding and discerning about who they work with or buy from. Some 38% say it will increase because there will be many new customers coming into the market, and 33% believe companies will need to strengthen their brands to help fend off new entrants to the sector.
“In business aviation, great brand management doesn’t need to be expensive to be effective,” said Richard Thomas, managing director of Philtre Digital, a specialist business aviation marketing consultancy. “It just takes the imagination to understand why you are unique and the discipline to consistently articulate that message over and over.”
Some 77 business aviation professionals were interviewed between 10th and 14th March 2018 by the market research company PollRight. For a copy of The Growing Importance of Branding in Business Aviation report please email: firstname.lastname@example.org