Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jet Blue riffs on Virgin to give its brand some sparkle

Jet blue are trying to create some cache for their brand. You can't blame them. The Low Cost Carrier market has really heated up recently. It's more than soaring oil prices eroding profitability: new competition has arrived in the form of Virgin America, which offers a great branded entertainment experience that flies between SFO, LAX and Las Vegas to name a few West coast cities.

It seems a bit cheeky therefore that Jet Blue have copied an approach that Virgin Airways took a few years back. In August 2005 Branson's airline introduced the world to a new type of jetsetter, the Jetrosexual (a thinly veiled reference to the then recently defined demo/psychographic - the metrosexual). Virgin defined this group as "globe- leaders among "a new emerging business culture" who are "rock stars of their industry...those who "leave the terra firma behind each day to move business and culture forward.""

Jet Blue has now introduced 'Jetting'. What was once the province of an upwardly mobile jet set has been recast for the mass-market. It comes with leather seats, and award winning customer service which, in a distinctly democractic twist more indicative of Southwest, is available "for everyone".

It remains to be seen how effective it will be given the vastly better planes, human touch and service of Virgin America.

1 comment:

CA said...

I'd suggest it's less JetBlue knocking off Virgin than Virgin knocking off JetBlue. Jetblue transformed a crappy industry here in the US, and gave Virgin the model upon which to set their own airline apart. Virgin America isn't much more than JetBlue with slightly newer planes that will show the same wear before long, techno lighting and music, and so-so (if we want to be honest about it) seatback gadgets. OK, so you can chat with other people on the plane. Sorry, but how often do you fly with friends and don't sit next to them?

It's not that VA isn't impressive and nice on its own, but surely people recognize they just took what JetBlue was doing and threw a fresh coat of paint on it, no?