Running an airline is a complex, often hair-raising experience. Running the branding for an airline has some of the same characteristics. But this was not your typical airline. NetJets Europe ferried VIPs all over the world. We developed and ran the branding for the entire operation, including advertising in 7 languages that ran in 20 countries. We managed internal and external teams that developed a $2 million website, sales support, a climate initiative and pilot recruiting.
We spent a month traveling all over Europe interviewing pilots, flight attendants, safety experts, lawyers, dispatchers, mechanics, caterers. We reviewed 8 years of advertising, pored over customer and consumer research, and came to the conclusion that, at a minimum price of $500,000 per year, this was not a conventional luxury product. But they were doing a very conventional luxury sell: lots of plastic-looking models, wrap-around sunglasses and wet tarmac. We felt that the only thing all the owners had in common was the ability to write big checks. That they were individuals first. And we needed to speak to that rather than the stereotype. It was a radical shift in direction, but one that the company embraced wholeheartedly.
We worked directly with the CEO and the senior marketing and sales team. We also had relationships with people up and down the chain of command, so we always knew what was going on. We took responsibility for the entire brand. From working with big airline partners to designing amenities for owners to helping flight crews stationed in 35 cities feel part of the company. We partnered with a great designer to shape the brand into something elegant but also very real. The result was a big leap in awareness and image for Netjets Europe.
NetJets Europe was a company that understood luxury branding. They made a habit of doing unexpected things for their customers and in their marketing. In Europe, they owned the card business, so card promotion was an integral part of our advertising and promotion. Since a NetJets 25 hour card was the lowest priced product they offered, we needed to explain the benefits to an audience that might not be familiar with the benefits of having “your own private airline.” We decided that using a dog that traveled for business would be an exciting way to dramatize exactly how much you can get done in a day if you have access to a private jet. We named the dog Alphonse, and the rest is history.
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