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Jetstar Airways was established by Qantas in 2003 and is an airline that put an emphasis on low cost airfares (Seatmaestro, n.d.). Jetstar’s idea was to have an airline that provided cheap airfares an no frills for their customers. There were also other airlines that were targeting consumers looking for inexpensive flights. This was being done by Qantas’s competitor, Virgin Blue. Jetstar Airways, along with Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Pacific and Jetstar Japan are part of the Jetstar Group which is one of Asia Pacific’s fastest growing airlines (Jetstar, n.d.). In 2004, Jetstar commenced its domestic operations in Australia (Jetstar, n.d.). The following year, Jetstar started operating flights to Christchurch, New Zealand from Sydney Australia. It wasn’t until 2009 that Jetstar offered domestic flights within New Zealand.
In 2006, Jetstar showed Australia their innovation by being the first airline to allow their customers to select their seats when booking their flights (Seatmaestro, n.d.). Jetstar’s innovation didn’t stop there, in 2010 they went on to be the first airline to offer Apple iPad’s for inflight entertainment (Seatmaestro, n.d.). Seeking new ways to offer customers an enhanced experience, Jetstar introduced 5 turboprop Bombardier Q300 for their New Zealand regional services in December 2015 (Seatmaestro, n.d.). Today, Jetstar’s fleet across Australia and New Zealand consists of 72 aircrafts (Jetstar, n.d.).
Jetstar had a rocky start when they launched in New Zealand. There were delays to their flights on the day of the launch and months that followed (Bradley, 2015). Along with the delays, they faced public backlash with customer complaints coming in strong. A website and Facebook page were created for disgruntled customers to share their complaints and urge others not to fly with Jetstar. “Between flights not departing or arriving on time, extra fees, no free food, and customers saying that they were receiving poor service, their reputation in New Zealand was not the best.” (McQuillian, 2015). In response to the many customer complaints, Jetstar put their focus towards changing its image in New Zealand. This change to the brand involved communicating with their customers how low-cost airlines operate, promoting their increased functionally and contributing to the New Zealand environment. This promoted the Jetstar brand as more mature after its rocky start six years prior in 2009 (Bradley, 2015).
Today Jetstar offers the cheapest airfares in New Zealand and is a strong competitor for New Zealand’s number one airline, Air New Zealand. Last year, “Jetstar has been able to keep their promise of flying cheaply, with 24 million passengers flying domestically or internationally for less than $100” (Quantis Annual Report, 2018 p. 06).
Internal Elements of the Brand
Jetstar’s brand vision is to “make the world more accessible” (Jetstar, n.d.). This vision sets the tone of Jetstar’s culture, expressing that they are an affordable airline. The vision communicates their aspirational goal which is to provide an opportunity for people to fly wherever they want, whenever they want at all times at a very affordable and realistic price. (Jetstar, n.d.). This sets Jetstar apart from their competitors and defines why they exist. After Air New Zealand announced that they were dropping its New Zealand regional flights prices, Jetstar were quick to respond. Sticking to their vision, they offered consumers to beat any fare by 10% .
Jetstar’s brand values are “being safe and responsible, being efficient, having a consistently can-do attitude, working as one team, being passionate about enjoyment and genuinely caring” (Jetstar, n.d.). These values attribute to the culture of Jetstar. They underpin positive behaviours that distinguish their brand. These values also support Jetstar’s strategic vision to be the best low fare airline (Qantas Group, 2018).
A brand belief is something that people can admire and respond to, a way to connect with consumers (Bembridge, 2012). Jetstar’s brand beliefs are diversity, collaboration and inclusion (Jetstar, n.d.). These beliefs are a strength to Jetstar as they enable people to feel as though they belong and are valued regardless of their differences. Understanding that everyone is unique and implementing an inclusive ethos has worked well as a business strategy for Jetstar. Jetstar works hard to meet the needs of their customers and also the well-being of the Jetstar staff. (Caballero, 2016, as cited in Llopis, 2018). Therefore, these beliefs aid Jetstar’s brand as authentic and open.
Physical Look of the Brand
The Jetstar brand is easily recognisable and is made up of three main colours, orange, black and silver. These colours provide the brand with a modern feel. The text ‘Jetstar’ is black followed by an orange star placed directly after the text. The font they have used is bold and italic. The star is a basic 2D slanted image. On the tail of their planes they have cleverly replaced the word ‘star’ with the image of their star. This creates an aesthetically pleasing creative to their aircrafts. “The Jetstar brand design is based on the Southern Cross constellation, with the orange star representing the smallest star of the Cross, Epsilon Crucis (Jetstar, n.d.). Associating the brand with the Southern Cross gives the brand meaning to their New Zealand and Australian consumers as the Southern Cross appears on both the New Zealand and Australia flags.
Language the Brand Commonly uses
The language that Jetstar commonly uses is reinforcement of their low-costs. In their advertising, public relations and social media, they are constantly re-iterating that they provide low fares which makes the world more accessible. Jetstar use this language to help execute high-impact communication with their consumers about their affordability. This language helps to develop the feeling and understanding that with Jetstar you get only what you need and pay for in order to keep fares low and the world at your fingertips. The tone of language that Jetstar uses to establish their brand personality is upbeat colloquial. Their ads are casual and fun, using everyday people with the odd joke to engage with their audience.
As Jetstar focuses on leisure markets, their customers only pay for what they need. They do not offer anything additional such as tea and coffee without the customer having to pay for this service. This behaviour is how Jetstar keep their flights at low-cost . As well as providing low-cost airfares, Jetstar also strive to provide high level of customer satisfaction in everything they do (Jetstar, n.d.). To achieve customer satisfaction, Jetstar have a 10-point customer guarantee;
- Your safety is our highest priority
- We commit to provide the lowest fares with our ‘Price Beat Guarantee’*
- Our team are always here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- We’ll let you know your choices if your flight is changed before you travel
- We’ll keep you updated and provide options if things don’t go to plan on the day
- You will get what you paid for
- You can have confidence in how quickly we will respond to an issue
- You can have confidence in how quickly we will refund your money
- We share your passion for protecting our environment
- We commit to the privacy of your personal information (Jetstar, n.d.)
Theses 10 points centre around providing open, and honest customer service. Listed at number one on the 10-points is safety. Safety is something Jetstar take very seriously and have as their highest priority. “Safety is of the utmost importance and there is always ongoing effort to improve and ensure injuries, illness, accidents and incidents are prevented. This is done by implementing successful
safety management systems, high calibre processes and a robust safety culture” (Qantas Group, 2018). This behaviour of Jetstar has seen them ranked as one of the top 10 safest low-cost carriers in the world for 2018 as rated by an aviation safety and product rating website Airlineratings.com (“World’s safest airlines for 2018: Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia”, 2018). Another way that Jetstar uses to provide customer service is adopting latest technology. They were the first airline to provide online seat select and offer inflight entertainment on Ipads. More recently, they have adopted artificial intelligence technology to provide their customers with a virtual assistant. Jetstar’s virtual assistant, Jess, can answer customer queries immediately. “We acknowledge that time is precious for all of our customers and Ask Jess is a great tool that quickly and efficiently answers any questions that our customers may have (Koczkar, 2018, as cited in Jetstar, 2018). Jess operated on both the Jetstar website and Facebook page. Launching these technologies helps Jetstar to deliver to their customers. In conclusion, Jetstar’s brand behaviour is based on their customers and on safety.
External Element of the Brand
Jetstar have positioned themselves as a low-cost airline. Their point of difference is ‘The Jetstar Price Beat Guarantee’ in the New Zealand market. This is where if you find a comparable fair online, Jetstar will beat it by 10%. In the New Zealand market Jetstar’s main competition is Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand dominate the amount of domestic flights offered. They have also recently had a price drop on their domestic base fares. Air New Zealand’s CEO, Christopher Luxon (2019) said “We are making travel more affordable than ever for Kiwis” (as cited in Lake, 2019). Although Jetstar offer a 10% price beat, the reduction in Air New Zealand’s flights make them a strong competitor to Jetstar. As Air New Zealand is not considered a budget, low-cost airline, some consumers would prefer to fly with them. With the recent price drop, these customers can now afford to. Air New Zealand also operates out of more domestic locations than Jetstar. These factors make Air New Zealand a strong competitor of Jetstar in New Zealand. Tigerair Australia is Jetstar’s main competitor in Australia. Tigerair Australia are another low-cost airline.
Jetstar’s current strapline is ‘All day, every day, low fares’ (Jetstar, n.d.). This strapline is truthful and to the point. From a consumer perspective it is persuasive and memorable. This strapline represents the Jetstar brand and is in line with their vision. Previous straplines and mottos that Jetstar have utilized are ‘Australia’s No. 1 Low Fares Airline’, Low Fares, Good Times (Fly Away)’ and ‘Lets Fly Jetstar’ (Sloganlist, n.d.).
Customer Perception of the Brand
Although Jetstar’s strategies are customer focused, they do not have the reputation to follow. Customers perceive Jetstar as a budget airline that doesn’t care for their customers. In 2017 Jetstar was rated the worst airline in the world in a global study based on over 100 airlines (‘Jetstar rated worst airline in the world’, 2017). In the article “Jetstar rated worst airline in the world” (2017), the Newshub reporter mentioned the study “found that more than a third of people who flew with Jetstar were unsatisfied with their service for a number of reasons. There were disruptions from flight cancellation and some passengers were having to wait up four hours after their expected departure time before they actually flew. In response to this study, Jetstar hit back claiming the study lacked veracity. There have been reports of people experiencing terrible customer service with one passenger being asked about her pregnancy when she wasn’t pregnant at all (McQuillian, 2015). Another common complaint about Jetstar’s service was their lack of punctuality with flights being delayed or cancelled. Despite this poor punctual reputation, Jetstar was named New Zealand’s most punctual domestic airline in 2013 (“Jetstar continues to back its performance—and try to change perceptions—with the Punctuality Promise”, 2014). In 2014 Jetstar offered their customers a $25 voucher if they were on a domestic flight that arrived more than 10 minutes after it was expected to. This voucher was available for eight days. This was a strategy that Jetstar tried in order to change peoples minds about Jetstar being an unreliable airline (Jetstar continues to back its performance—and try to change perceptions—with the Punctuality Promise”, 2014). Whilst Jetstar has made efforts to improve the way their brand is perceived, they still have a while to go before they will reach the required perception to match their values.
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