There are complex situations when a brand has the tall task of turning around a major financial challenge, a damaged reputation and vulnerable workforce morale. This was the case for Monarch, Britain’s oldest airline brand. Working together with Monarch leadership, the Lippincott team set out to create a fresh sense of purpose for employees to rally behind and a new story for customers to connect with.
Our exploration revealed a unique dimension of the Monarch brand — its people and their instinctive desire to care. Despite the broader industry pressures, the brand’s staff upheld a characteristic easygoing and friendly relationship with customers. Employees shared in the excitement of each and every customer trip. As one described it, “We actually like our customers.”
Armed with this insight, we led the crafting of a new and compelling purpose — To show we care. This focus on Monarch’s demonstrable caring spirit gave us the tool for identifying moments throughout the customer journey, both big and small, where the brand could bring the new purpose to life. In doing so, Monarch would differentiate themselves from the strong low-cost competition.
“Lippincott proved to be invaluable partners in helping us codify and define our brand essence and purpose. This has formed a foundation stone that we are convinced will be with us for many decades to come.”
— Andrew Swaffield, Chief Executive Officer, The Monarch Group
One of these moments was the recommendation to move to simpler “round pound” pricing. The low-cost brands in the sector typically use prices ending in 99p in an attempt to make things look cheaper than they are. Monarch’s decision to adopt “Round Pound” pricing was a signal to customers that Monarch cares and that marketing deception isn’t the game they are in. The idea paid off financially as well as in brand perception. Testing the new rounded prices side by side with .99 prices produced a 25 percent lift in click-through rates with a corresponding 13 percent increase in the value of bookings from promotional emails.
As part of the work, we updated Monarch’s existing brand guidelines to help them create simpler expressions of their new brand positioning both visually and verbally. This inspired a range of successful creative communications expressing their friendly and sunny personality.
Our brand platform also served an important role in bringing the company’s holiday business under the Monarch brand, with a brand story and experience designed to apply across flights and holidays. In 2016, Monarch was named the world’s most punctual low-cost airline — a fitting title for a brand focused on “showing they care.”
Photo credit: Monarch