Brands that successfully change their positioning to either gain new customers or grow with the changing aspirations of their current customer achieve a feat which few manage. To do so without a single performance bump in the road or, in the case of easyJet, the sky and you are toast of the financial community. Investors and customers happy. Last week easyJet posted a 4.1% increase in passenger traffic in March against a 4% decline by Ryanair. Both budget carriers but with a very different view on customer service and the offering. Ryanair compete only on price and, up until a declared change of heart a few months ago, have shunned any form of support for the passenger. That combined with a tendency to fly to lower cost and therefore geographically remote airports meant that they have been unable to embrace the business or older leisure traveler.
The credit for easyJet's brand and product pivot lies with their CEO, Carolyn McCall who joined the company four years ago. Appealing first to the business traveler by coming up with fare structures and flexible change policies at a time of austerity meant that more and more corporate fliers turned to them. More recently the decision to end 'open and un-allocated' seating removed a major hurdle to the older traveler who ruled out the easyJet option for fear of the unknown.
Supporting all of this has been an energetic advertising campaign which maintains the energy of the brand and focuses on (1) seating, (2) app based ticketing and (3) punctuality.
And placing very tactical print adverts such as this one in today's Sunday Times Business Section.
It's been an effective positioning pivot - maintaining values and bringing the established customer base on the journey and attracting new users - it's a perfect example of getting it right.