In the last decade low cost airlines including Flybe have been extremely successful at the expense of legacy carriers. However the crash of 2008/9 posed a big threat to the business model and led to the proliferation of ancillary revenue. The result was that an online fare would double during the booking process.
Consumers felt ‘mugged’ and the lack of transparency was causing negative reactions toward the airlines – the role of the brand was becoming minimal. But at the same time, the research told us that flyers were looking for a better, more transparent experience and were happy to pay for it. SOUK were briefed late in 2011 to work on a repositioning – effectively a re-launch.
A menu of ‘Flybe benefits’ was identified that added up to a better flying experience. The new ‘Making Flying Better’ positioning was approved in the New Year. And the client developed a new three-tier fare structure based on ‘the fare you see is the fare you pay’. SOUK developed a new advertising campaign for the re-launch – three TV films that each communicated a Flybe benefit using comedy, creating a personality and emotional connection with anyone who flies. A new press campaign using the ‘be’ part of the logo at the initial part of the headline allows just about anything to be communicated. Initial executions were ‘be clearer’ or ‘be inclusive’.
The new brand look has been adopted across all brand activity including the website and internal comms. It is ten years since the agency helped launch Flybe. This re-launch which took place in April 2012 is a major step-change based on a fundamental strategic review.