Despite being the market leader in Canada since its introduction in 1972, the Rapidair shuttle product had been atrophying for several years; notably between Toronto (yyz) and Montreal (yul) – Canada’s two largest cities. Causes were attributed to:
- Several new competitors entering the market (2007-2008); including an all turbo-prop outfit uniquely flying in/out of Toronto’s new downtown airport (ytz)
- An established LCC competitor ramping up their schedule and instituting consistent, aggressive pricing (2007)
- Self-inflicted deterioration vis-à-vis a stale product offering, essentially unchanged for ~6 years
- Assessment/verification of key drivers of customer loyalty; and identification of corresponding product specs & customer service touchpoints (requiring increased focus, budget or other resources).
- Financial analysis (costs vs. projected benefit) of recommended product and/or service enhancements.
- Updated brand & identity documentation (for planned product refreshment & relaunch of the Rapidair brand).
- In depth competitive analysis (product, pricing, scheduling) of current & new market entrants.
- Primary customer research to explore brand perceptions; and to determine/verify key attributes driving customer (dis)loyalty.
- Brand health assessment; and a branding/logo audit (print, airport, inflight, communications).
- Financial (costs) assessment for enhanced product & service recommendations; and % share/revenue modelling.
- Brand re-launch recommended to boost market share and profitability:
- Need for unrelenting focus on on-time dept, arrivals and baggage delivery. Additional opportunity also with improved focus on other select ‘traditional’ shuttle product/service features (e.g. close-in check-in & dept gate areas).
- Customer research demonstrated greater loyalty could be garnered via airport-product improvements (versus inflight-product). Previously allocated budget increases for inflight-product were substantially diverted to airport-product instead.
- Relaxation of fare-level benefits allowing for more same-day (no-charge) standbys, and more flexibile non same-day standby (for certain fare segments); plus simplification of several pricing structures.
- Employee engagement was critical; their engagement however would require that a ‘truely enhanced’ rapidair product be launched.
- Toronto (yyz) to Montreal (yul) route became profitable within six months (~+5 point share increase).
- Product investment recouped in <4 months
click to visit