Targetting the Aspirational Consumer through In-flight Magazines
India has a large percentage of middle class, and only 1 percentage of the entire population has been converted into airline customers. Post the 90s, with the advent of the liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation era, the markets have opened up, economy has grown, businesses have expanded, and the cultural impact of the West on the East, and vice versa, has been immense.
Thus, the birth of the aspirational customer. In business, as important it is to maintain an existing customer, it is equally important to convert a potential customer into a first-time customer. An aspirational consumer is already on the look out for the finer things in life; they just need the right push.
With the entry of LCCs in the Indian aviation industry, the pricing of air tickets have become more competitive, while flash sales have risen, forcing most domestic airlines in the market to resort to this strategy. Simultaneously, the disposable income of the Indian public increases, and flash sales are able to secure a sizeable booking. So if you are wondering, where in all this does an in-flight magazine fit, rest assured.
An aspirational brand strategy opens up a whole new world of possibilities, both for the advertiser and the customer. Who wouldn’t want to own a particular brand of bag, better yet, be seen travelling with it. With an endless sea of choices available to customers today, the brand must appeal to the customer, and show what he/she can achieve with it. For the aspirational consumer, who is probably flying for the first time, and sees an advertisement of a hotel-stay package, he/she may in fact start planning for a similar trip later in the year. After all, you are travelling 35,000 ft above sea level, above the clouds, anything seems possible.
When such volatile groups of aspirational consumers fly, they are already in a heightened sense of actualisation, and while flipping through the magazine, the in-flight magazine becomes the perfect carrier and platform for the showcase and promotion of your brand and the various products & services. Right from a print copy to a digital presence, the in-flight magazine captures the attention of the consumer in a restricted ambience with little distractions, ensuring a positive attention span. And even when the consumer has deplaned, is waiting for his bag at the baggage carousel, he is probably thinking of that beautiful smartphone he saw in the magazine. Who doesn’t want a better standard of living, to be earning more and spending more? When brands add a sense of higher social status attached to their brand, acquiring it becomes a matter of pride, displaying it, a sense of privilege.
Thus, getting onboard an aircraft, flying from destination A to destination B, and becoming a part of the flying population of the country, already sets the consumer apart. It signifies that he/she has arrived and is willing to tread further.