At the outset I would like to point out that I don’t have anything against Air India, Economic Times or AC Nielsen. I got the idea of this post after reading the recent article about Air India being voted as the most trusted brand in Indian aviation by the Economic Times survey of Most Trusted Brands. Yes you heard it right – Air India is the MOST TRUSTED BRAND IN INDIAN AVIATION !
To be honest, I don’t buy it, but before I say that let us first analyze the survey a little.
The methodology of the survey includes these basic points –
- Brands are evaluated on relatedness, perceived popularity, quality connotation, distinctiveness or uniqueness, value for money that it offers and repurchase intent
- Other factors include sales, media and retail visibility and also market and trade feedback
- Sample includes SEC A, SEC B and SEC C constituent of the population in Urban India
Taking these factors into account, the survey was conducted in one Class 1 town (population between 5 and 10 lakh) and one Class 2 town (population between 50,000 and one lakh) in each geographic zone.
Physical problems in the planes, employee strikes, Unsavory incidents aboard plane, problems with the merger with Indian Airlines and above all a financial mess – Air India has seen it all in the last couple of years. So one really wonders as to how it can be regarded as the most trusted brand in Indian aviation with all these problems to boot.
This led me to analyze each and every point on the basis of which the survey was done. The conclusions below may not be same for everyone else.
This point is based on whether the brand evokes warmth or friendliness. Truth be told – Whenever I have encountered staff at Air India – be it ground staff or those in the air, I have never faced a feeling or warmth or welcoming hospitality. The employees treat the passengers in such a way that they are doing a service by treating us passengers well rather than pampering us.
The market share which is a good way of determining popularity shows that Air India has lost the first and second spots to Jet and Kingfisher respectively. Its soon set to lose the third spot to Indigo
In terms of quality it has gone down drastically in service, overall ambience, safety standards – everything. The fact that its new Boeing flights overseas to the West are pretty good in terms of quality cannot rule out the fact that its quality is suffering
Is there anything unique or distinctive which Air India has to offer? I seriously doubt it.
Value for Money
With the coming in of other low cost airline options, Air India doesn’t have any differentiation through its value for money offer. Infact, under normal circumstances, their prices are much higher than low cost airlines.
– The fact that the market share has fallen drastically proves that the repeat flyers on Air India are decreasing drastically
– Going through the above points has also resulted in a detrimental effect on Sales, Media presence, visibility and customer feedback
I don’t doubt Economic Times or AC Nielsen. But, once you analyze all these factors, he / she would surely wonder on what basis Air India has been given the crown of the most trusted brand in Indian aviation.
I often hear that these surveys and awards are rigged – and entities pay to get the top spot. After seeing these kind of surveys, I sometimes really think it must be true..
What do you think?