#JetBlue: Fliers and Mobile First
The era of luxury airline travel is long gone; as more people began to take to the “friendly” skies and more airlines struggled to retain profits, we were all forced to concede that travel is no longer about the experience and now only about time and money. Travelers eventually found this environment to be exhaustive and unpleasant, and JetBlue saw an opening as an airline that represented everything traditional airlines seemed to have forgotten: their customers. Since its inception in 1999, the company has promoted itself as the hipper, trendier, more user-friendly next generation of aircraft carriers. The brand saw an opportunity to create a unique, full-circle customer experience. Clever TV ads, friendly sales people, in-flight entertainment – JetBlue did its best to infuse a sense of fun and excitement back into the frustrating and lackluster travel industry, ingraining their marketing mantras beyond just slogans and into their organizational culture, shaping favorable customer service experiences.
Although JetBlue was late to the game compared to its predecessors who had established themselves as the leading airlines decades prior, from a digital and social standpoint, JetBlue has always been an early adopter. As customer service and engagement is a top priority for the company, the advent of social media allowed them to take engagement to the next level and further display their personality and commitment to a smooth and enjoyable travel experience. Tapping into social networks almost immediately, the airline company has created a user-focused and generated online culture. From their #SoFly campaign in which they encourage JetBlue fliers to submit tweets and photos for Instagram, to their timely responses to customer concerns, JetBlue utilizes social and digital media less for hocking their product and more for building a community across all fliers and all channels.
The company’s latest social efforts solidify their identity as a pioneer within the brand engagement realm. JetBlue’s “Air on the Side of Humanity” comprehensive campaign spans television, digital, social and mobile for a truly integrated customer offering. While the commercial and digital hub are clever and entertaining, the real star of the campaign is mobile. The past year has been a “mobile-first” frenzy within every major marketing and advertising conversation, and JetBlue listened.
As JetBlue has always enacted an innovative, customer-oriented mindset, it should not come as a surprise that they blended the two facets of their identity to create a new era of mobile campaigns. As an extension of the “Air on the Side of Humanity” commercials and digital micro-site, steeped within the central and metaphorical theme of a Pigeon’s journey, their new mobile ads leverage voice activated technology in which users can learn to talk like a pidgeon. Although the premise may seem silly and essentially inconsequential, it sheds light on the fact that Jet Blue views customer engagement as the key to satisfaction, and ultimately ticket sales. “Gamifying” the Jet Blue mobile experience allows the brand to continue to showcase its fun, carefree personality through entertainment while simultaneously offering a path back to JetBlue’s primary and micro-sites, keeping the airline top of mind among mobile users. Additionally, marrying their own early version of a conversation-based mobile application ensures that their digital product will be able to seamlessly adapt when conversational and semantic search shifts from being the future of search to the current state.
Beyond their planned, multi-channel campaigns like “Air on the Side of Humanity,” JetBlue also maintains an active social presence to offer solutions and resources to customers in need of customer support. The recent harsh weather and newly instated FAA regulations, demanding pilots receive 10 hours of rest between flights, caused JetBlue’s frequent fliers to turn to social media for answers from the airline. JetBlue embraces social media platforms as open forums in which they can easily communicate everything from clever campaigns and promotions to company statements and issues of apologies.
The key to the success of JetBlue’s social offerings is their commitment to a multi-channel approach. Multi-channel, while beneficial to brands and their overall ROI, is a movement really driven by customers. The public is accustomed to 24/7 consumption, and a multi-channel approach to this shift in philosophy gives brands the opportunity to meet these demands. JetBlue continues to convey the idea that customer satisfaction and engagement is their top priority, and now with their implementation of an engagement strategy across every customer touch point, JetBlue’s cross-channel marketing approach solidifies their commitment to listening to their travelers, providing convenient airline customer service accessibility, and continuing to enhance their travel experience based on fliers’ needs.