Recent news of Ryanair’s plans to scrap hundreds of flights between now and the end of October due to poor planning, is set to cause chaos for over 385,000 passengers, with shares in the brand dipping by nearly 5 percent and a likely to cost the airline in the region of 34.5 million euros.
This is jarring, not just for those affected, but also since Ryanair, Europe’s biggest discount airline, has publicly invested heavily in boosting their image, supporting a friendlier and more customer focused portrayal, aimed at improving customer experience and loyalty, alongside enabling attraction and retention of a more lucrative customer base.
Whilst immediate efforts were made to provide refunds or alternative flights, redeeming the brand equity lost will likely hit brand perception quite significantly. Customers don’t simply forget, especially if they have missed a friend’s wedding or an important family trip.
In today’s increasingly social age, customer service continues to dominate as a key driver for brand visibility, with customers actively engaging with brands online to positively reinforce a good brand experience, or equally express their frustrations when things don’t go to plan.
Businesses can and should employ tactics to monitor and protect brand and this extends much further than simply the logo, it’s also what the brand stands for and how it communicates. One good measure on brand value is Net Promoter Score, a loyalty metric that measures the likelihood of future engagement and referral, it is something at LDF we pay close attention to.
One thing is clear however, irrespective of whether you are a brand giant or a relative unknown, brands are built on reputation, customers are your currency and you can’t ignore the fact that a brand takes time to build, and one bad move to damage.