At the April Ad Age Digital Conference, Delta VP of marketing and digital commerce Bob Kupbens shared how his team is making Delta a “love” brand for consumers, and the challenges this poses for an airline.
“I used to work at Target and when you went to a cocktail party and you told people that you worked at Target, you know what they’d say?” Kupbens asked. “‘I love Target! I’ll give you a big hug!’ You know what people say when you tell them at a cocktail party that you work at Delta? ‘I hate you! You lost my bag! You had me on the tarmac for seven hours. I’m going to kill you!’ It’s different when you work for a love brand.”
According to Kupbens, consumers only have the capacity to invest themselves in five love brands. These investments are often based on essential consumer needs, engagement and an emotional connection to a brand that makes you feel good.
When it comes to airlines, Kupbens and his team at Delta face an uphill battle. Consumers think of commercial travel as more of a chore than a luxury these days, and airlines don’t typically generate the warm fuzzies that other more accessible hassle-free brands do.
How then does an airline compete to become a love brand?
Kupbens describes “Keep Climbing” as Delta’s plan of action. Goals include being number one in operations, number one in digital, being a love brand and being “considered by their core consumers as one of the best brands in the world and certainly the best airline.”
A set of lofty aspirations, but ones that will take Delta to new heights in the minds of consumers if Kupbens is able to deliver.