Ryan Air Marketing Plan

————————————————- What do people think of RyanAir? Consumer Behavior ————————————————- Date: October 15th 2012 ————————————————- Table of contents Introduction3 The research design4 Sample description4 Method for interviewing4 Research structure4 Step 1: Collect pictures5 Step 2: Interview method5 Step 3: Concept map5 Step 4: Combined concept map5 Step 5: Consensus map5 Step 6: Communication idea6 The mental maps7 Dutch consensus mental map7 Romanian consensus mental map8 Combined consensus mental map9 Communication idea10
Olympic Games 201210 TV Commercials10 Nadia Comaneci on Romanian Traditions11 Marian Dragulescu on Romanian Scenery11 Larisa Iordache on Dracula11 Camelia Potec on Romanian People11 Flags and banners11 Printed advertisement12 Conclusion and discussion13 Conclusion13 Discussion13 Future research13 References14 Websites14 Articles14 Appendix15 Interviews by Cristina Bataga15 Interviews by Jessica van der Hoeven17 Interviews by Ella van Leeuwen22 Interviews by Mehdia Shireen Talib27 Introduction With this paper we will offer insights in brand perceptions and attempt to create a perceptual map for a specific brand.
To choose a brand for this assignment we had a group discussion about which brand we thought would be interesting to evaluate and analyse. After considering several options, we decided that we wanted a brand which is relevant at the moment, since this would make it easier for our participants to evaluate. After discussing multiple brands we decided to choose Ryanair. In this assignment participants evaluate Ryanair through interviews and conceptual maps. We will first conduct a simple interview with the respondents and we will let them draw a concept map afterwards.
We will explain everything in more detail in the following chapters, but first we will elaborate on the brand Ryanair. Ryanair is an airline found in 1985 by the Ryan family and is currently active in 28 countries. Over the past few years there has been a significant growth in the number of customers, from 4 million in 1998 and 24 million in 2004, to 75 million to date(Barret, 2004 and Ryanair. nl). Ryanair is well known for their low offers. The average price of a flight with Ryanair was 38 euro’s in 2004. The Guardian even presented an article last year, which stated that the lowest ticket price of Ryanair this summer was only 12 euros.
Ryanair has a team of over 8500 people, which is actually really low for the amount of passengers they transport every year. All these passengers are transported by one type of airplane, the Boeing 737-800. Ryanair its strategy is to offer the lowest price at all time on all routes and provide an inexpensive and convenient service (Ryanair. nl). To accomplish this strategy, they maintain a certain business model. This business model is build up by 10 key points. The first point is operating from secondary airports. Secondary airports are (unknown) small airports which arrange for low airport fees.
The second point is the lowest ticket price, which causes high volume of passengers. The third point is standardized fleets of the Boeing 737-800, which gives them bargaining power with the suppliers. Furthermore, there are no meals on board, nothing is free, low commission for travel agents, Spartan headquarters and there is a single-class which all helps with saving costs. Lastly, there are no unions and there are high powered incentives (Casadesus-Masanell and Ricart, 2010). Precisely this strategy in combination with the business model Ryanair uses, makes it interesting to analyse Ryanair. Does this strategy really work?
Do customers really think Ryanair is the cheapest Airline? Do customers really think Ryanair provides a convenient service? These are all questions we try to figure out in this assignment. At the end we will conclude if the strategy used by Ryanair is the right one, or if Ryanair should change or restate its strategy. This report will consist of chapters explaining the research design and the results we found. The first chapter will discuss the sample used for our research and the method for interviewing. It will explain about the various methods for interviewing and substantiate our decisions.
The second chapter will discuss the brand consensus map. It will explain how we came to the consensus map and how the data provided by the interviews will be used as an input to make the brand consensus map. After creating the final brand consensus map, we will take a closer look at the brand consensus map to come up with solutions, improvements and or changes that Ryanair should take. This communication idea will be discussed in the final chapter. 1. Research design Sample description When we were discussing the brand Ryanair, we came to the conclusion that the sers are predominantly young people with small budgets. We wanted to create the concept maps based on the thoughts of users, rather than on people who are less likely to use Ryanair. Because of this reason, we chose to use HBO and WO students for our sample, as we believe they fit in this profile. They are relatively young and have no full time jobs, so they have budget restrictions. All four member of our group selected respondents from their own social environment. In total 15 respondents participated, all of them were Dutch. The range of the age of the respondents is between 18 and 26 years old.
The experiment had a total of 7 male respondents and 8 female respondents. Method for interviewing To create brand concept maps we can use several techniques. One approach is the Zaltman’s Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET), which uses qualitative research techniques to identify key brand associations and then uses in-depth interviews with respondents to uncover the links between these brand associations (Zaltman and Coulter, 1995). This is a really thorough method due to its multiple uses of qualitative research techniques to tap both verbal and nonverbal aspects of consumer thinking.
However, this method knows also some barriers as it is difficult to administer and the process is labour intensive. Other drawbacks of the ZMET are its accessibility and ease of administration. Due to these demerits of the ZMET, we chose for a more accessible and standardized method for producing brand maps. The Brand Concept Maps (BCM) approach. The Brand Concepts Maps (BCM) method is used to elicit people’s knowledge about concepts and how they are connected with each other. This method is easy to implement, flexible and can be done in an unstructured procedure.
The respondent has to draw their own map with only few instructions from the researcher (John et al. , 2006). We used the unstructured procedure of the BCM method, where the respondents have to draw their own map to show their associations with the brand and how they are linked to each other. To identify key brand associations, we used the funnelling technique in the first interviews. This method consists of a series of questions that aim to get the respondents discussing a particular topic. The first questions in the interview are very broad and about the topic in general.
After the general part, the questions become more concrete and specific. Allowing the respondents to be prompt and to give their opinion about very specific items within the topic. Research structure As mentioned above, we used the BCM method for creating individual maps and eventually the final brand consensus map. This method will deliver a consensus brand map, which identifies the most important associations that consumers connect to the brand and how these associations are interconnected. We have chosen for this method because of the ease of use and the standardization of this method.
Since the mapping stage is very structured it does not take that much time of our respondents to fulfil this stage. Also the aggregation process is more accessible. To obtain a consensus brand map we make use of decision rules, which is less time consuming and does not require specialized statistical training. In the following paragraphs we will explain the whole process in detail and explain more about the techniques we used. Stage 1: The elicitation stage In this first stage our goal was to find significant associations with the brand Ryanair. Therefore, we created a survey and interviewed 15 HBO and WO students.
The survey existed of 17 open ended questions. Our purpose was to make these questions as objective as possible, to ensure we did not bias our interviewees. For example, we tried to cover both positive and negative associations. The structure of the questions was very basic, and easy to understand. We used the funnelling technique to structure our survey. With this technique the questions in the survey go from general to more specific, creating a metaphorical funnel. This survey gave us insight in the most salient associations with Ryanair (see appendix 1).
After collecting the data from our survey, we created a list of the most mentioned associations. An association was added to the list when at least 50% of the participants mentioned it. This resulted in a list with 16 associations. The associations can be found in appendix 2. On this list is also the association ‘smart’. Many of our respondents mentioned this word in the survey, but during the mapping stage we found that it was unclear for respondents in which context it should be placed. Therefore we decided not to use this word in our final consensus map. Figure 1: BCM example Stage 2: The mapping stage:
In the second stage we have asked the respondents to create individual brand maps for Ryanair. We used the same sample as in stage 1. We explained what a brand map is and showed them an example of a brand map for Volkswagen, which is shown in figure 1. We gave the respondents the list of associations with Ryanair that we defined in the elicitation stage and explained that they could use as many of the associations as they wanted, and they could also add any associations they thought were missing on the list. Furthermore, we explained the three different levels of connections between the brand and the associations.
We asked them to put the number 1,2 or 3 next to the line, indicating the strength of the link, 1 meaning a weak link and 3 a strong link. After this briefing procedure the respondents were given a blank piece of paper with the word Ryanair in the middle. Participants could take as long as they wanted to complete the brand map. Finally, they were debriefed and thanked for their participation. Stage 3: The aggregation stage. In the final stage we collected all the brand maps to aggregate them and create a consensus map. The individual brand maps are combined on the basis of the of rules to obtain a brand consensus map.
These rules require no specialized knowledge of quantitative or qualitative research methods. Frequencies are used to construct a consensus map, showing the most salient brand associations and their interconnections. We enhanced validity of the consensus map by creating inter-subjectivity. We let every team member make their own map based on their interviews. We then came together to compare and discuss the maps. After the discussion we created the final map based on the set of rules described by John et al (2006). How we created the consensus map is described in the next chapter, just as the details and description of the consensus map. . Description of consensus map and picture To create the final consensus map of the Ryanair brand, we used the article about Brand Concept Maps by John et al (2006). Beforehand, we coded the information from each of the individual brand maps in terms of (1) the presence of the brand associations, (2) the strength of the link between each association to the brand or to another association, (3) the level at which the association was placed in the map (directly linked to Ryanair, or directly linked to another association) and (4) which brand associations were linked above and below each association on the map.
There were 2 brand associations that respondents added themselves and were not on the list. None of these words were used in more than 7% of the cases, which led to our decision not to use them in the final consensus map. All the coded information was inserted in a table that can be found in appendix 3. Based on this table we used a five step process to develop a consensus brand map of the individual brand concept maps. (John et al 2006) Step 1: In the first step we identified the core brand associations that we have to place on the consensus map.
To determine the core brand associations we used the frequency of mention and the number of interconnections. If associations were mentioned on at least 50% of the maps we included them on the consensus map as a core brand association. We also included associations if the number of interconnections was equal to or higher than that of other core brand associations. By applying these rules we found 12 core brand associations which are shown the table in appendix 3. Step 2: In step two we decided which of the associations should be linked directly to Ryanair.
For this step we used the frequency of first order mentions, the ratio of first order mentions, and the type of interconnections. We selected the associations that were mentioned at least 50% of the times as first-order associations of the total times that they were mentioned. We only selected them if they had more super ordinate than subordinate connections. This resulted in 5 associations that had to be directly linked to Ryanair. Step 3: In the third step we placed the remaining core brand associations on the map. They needed to be linked to at least one of the first-order brand associations.
Important links between the 12 core brand associations also needed to be placed on the final consensus map. We made these links by first counting how frequently links between specific associations occurred across maps. Then we did a frequency count of how many different association links were noted on one map, two maps, three maps, four maps etc. We used these frequencies to select which association links would be included in the consensus map. The inflection point occurred at four (see appendix 4). Therefore, we included all core association links found on at least four maps in the consensus brand map.
Twelve links met the criteria, eleven of them were links between core brand associations. Step 4: In the fourth step we inserted links between core and non-core brand associations. As found in the previous step, there was only one link between a core and a non-core brand association that met the criteria. Step 5: In this final step we decided on the strength of the links between the associations and Ryanair. There are three levels of connections: weak (1), medium(2), strong(3). For each link we computed the mean of the strength. We rounded the number up or down to the next integer number.
All the results of these steps led to the brand consensus map below, figure 2. Figure 2: Final Brand Concept Map Ryanair As we have mentioned, the thicker the line, the stronger the association. The strength of associations was measured by the number of times an association was mentioned and what the strength of the associations was in the several brand maps made by our respondents. In the centre of the brand concept map you can see the brand Ryanair. The primary associations with Ryanair are: ‘cheap’, ‘limited service’, ‘holiday’, ‘flies only in Europe’ and ‘airline’.
Of these primary associations, ‘cheap’, ‘limited service’ and ‘airline’ have the strongest association with Ryanair. Apart from these primary associations being directly linked to Ryanair, some of these primary associations are also directly linked to each other. There is a direct link between ‘cheap’ and ‘limited service’, and there is a direct link between ‘airline’ and ‘flies only in Europe’. This means that people associate Ryanair being cheap with Ryanair offering limited service, and Ryanair being an airline with Ryanair only flying in Europe.
When we look at the secondary associations that are directly linked to the primary associations, we can see that most associations are linked to ‘cheap’. The associations directly linked to ‘cheap’ are: ‘less qualified employees’, ‘price strategy’, ‘price sensitive customers’, ‘low comfort’, ‘low quality’, and ‘no food/drinks’. From these associations, ‘no food/drinks’ has the weakest association with Ryanair being cheap. However, ‘no food/drinks’ is strongly associated with Ryanair providing limited service. Booth primary associations ‘airline’ and ‘only flying in Europe’ are strongly linked with ‘secondary airports’.
Finally, there is a strong link between the primary association ‘holiday’ and the non-core brand association ‘sun/summer’. This means that people strongly associate holidays with sun/summer. 3. Communication Idea The conclusion we derive from the Ryanair consensus map is twofold. On one side there are very strong, positive associations with Ryanair. We classify ‘Cheap’, ‘Airline’ and ‘Holiday’ as positive because these match the strategy that Ryanair carries. Ryanair wants to be a cheap airline that is convenient and easy to use. This strategy has definitely reached our sample of the population.
Besides that, we think that ‘Holiday’ is a positive association. When consumers think of planning a holiday, there is a big chance they will think of Ryanair, and book a flight with them. It is an important goal for brands to be in the consideration set of consumers(Avery et al, 2012). Based on our consensus map, we can state that Ryanair achieved this goal. On the other side, our respondents also have negative associations with Ryanair. They associate ‘cheap’ with ‘low quality’, ‘low comfort’ and ‘less qualified employees’. Strikingly, there are no positive associations with ‘cheap’.
This is definitely a point of improvement for Ryanair. At this moment cheap is associated with negative aspects. Ryanair could try to change this in a positive attitude towards cheap by emphasizing the advantages of cheap. Also, there is a strong association between ‘cheap’ and ‘limited service’. This can be seen as an negative aspect. However, we do not find this association emerging, it is well known that Ryanair indeed offers less service to its customers. It is part of its strategy to offer low prices to their customers. In the following paragraph we will elaborate on why and how Ryanair can change its strategy in more detail.
Why Change the Current Map As explained in the last paragraph there are several negative associations with Ryanair. We found out that not all these associations were based on experience though, since some of our participants never used Ryanair before or they experienced low comfort on some flights, but not all. Another point is that they associated Ryanair with less qualified employees because Ryanair is a cheap airline, but they do not know the background of the employees and in some cases they never noticed a difference between the employees of Ryanair and competitors.
Like mentioned in a previous chapter, Ryanair its strategy is to offer the lowest price at all time on all routes and provide an inexpensive and convenient service. This means that they do not want to be associated with inconvenient service or uncomfortable consumers. They mention their service as inexpensive on the other hand, so they know that their service is not as good as most competitors. So, the main reason why Ryanair should want to change the final brand map formed above is the fact that they do not want to be associated with low comfort and less qualified employees.
And that the associations ‘cheap’ is a positive associations, but it is linked only to negative associations. How Change the Current Map One of Ryanair its goals is to provide their customers with the cheapest flights. Since everybody associates Ryanair with cheap, they seem to have reached this goal. Since we do not want to change this association we have to come up with a plan to change their quality/comfort/employee image without Ryanair becoming more expensive. As mentioned before, our consensus map shows a negative attitude towards cheap, one of the main attributes of Ryanair. If we can change this ttitude, this will have a positive influence on the overall attitude towards Ryanair. For this purpose we decided to use the TORA model. The basic belief of this model is that behaviour(using Ryanair) is a function of a person’s attitude, in this case attitude towards cheap. This multi attribute model for molding attitudes consists of 3 important steps. First we will explain these three steps, and how they apply to Ryanair. 1. Changing a specific component belief. In this step the believe about the specific component ‘cheap’ is tried to be changed. In the case of Ryanair, this should be done for the component ‘service’.
Ryanair is assumed to have low service and less qualified employees, because they are cheap. As these beliefs are very subjective or even false, Ryanair should use their campaign to change these beliefs about service and quality of employees. 2. Changing the importance a consumer assigns to an attribute. The most important attribute of Ryanair is that they offer cheap flights. If customers fly cheap they will save money that they can spend on their destination. This is a very important feature of Ryanair, and they should try to get consumers to change the importance they weigh to this.
When a low flight price becomes more important for consumers, they are more likely to choose Ryanair, as this airline is one of the cheapest in Europe. 3. Introducing a new attitude in the consumers evaluation process. Like we mentioned before, the overall attitude towards cheap at this moment is predominantly negative. In the consensus map there was not one mainly positive association with cheap. Ryanair should change this attitude and emphasize the advantages of flying cheap in their campaign. For instance they could make the connection between cheap and smart.
The attitude towards cheap should change to: flying for cheap is smart because it saves you money. Based on these steps we have set up a campaign plan for Ryanair. We will discuss this campaign in detail in following paragraphs. Spring/ summer 2013 Campaign Ryanair Our campaign for Ryanair is mainly targeted at consumers who do not have Ryanair in their consideration set. This can either be because they don’t know the brand or because they have a negative attitude towards it. Our idea for Ryanair is to launch a campaign in the spring/summer of 2013 where they try to change consumer’s perception and attitude towards Ryanair.
We decided that the campaign should be launched in the spring/summer of 2013 because this is when most customers start planning their holiday. As we could see in the consensus map holidays are strongly associated with Ryanair, so we believe this is the perfect timing. Since TV Commercials are very expensive, which can increase the costs for Ryanair, and eventually ticket prices. We decided not to use TV commercials in our campaign. Instead, we think the campaign should consists of ads and commercials on the internet, where a big part of Ryanair’s target audience is active.
When potential customers, people between 18-30, are planning their holiday they will first go online, as this is the main search tool for this generation. Seeing an Ryanair advertisement can give them an incentive to book a flight with Ryanair. Advertisements The benefit of using online advertisements is the fact that multiple advertisements can be used in multiple locations. The most important thing about the advertisements is the fact that they have to have a strong message but still needs to be simple. They have to change consumer attitude towards low prices so this will lead to the desired behaviour ,booking a flight.
The ads have to be used frequently and placed in the right spots. The advertisements have to be placed on websites which are frequently visited by our target audience. If they click on the ad it should sent them to the Ryanair website. We want to use three types of advertisements; one advertisement with a so called “emotional appeal”, one with a “two-sided” approach and one with a “comparative” approach. Where each ad always shows the Ryanair logo, and the ad is always in the colors yellow and blue. If we use pictures the borders are in yellow and blue, and the text is always in the same blue colour.
The main goal of the ads is to try and remove the low comfort and less qualified employees associations out of the customers head and change this into an attitude positive towards cheap. We decided to use the word smart in all the ads, because of earlier mentioned reasons. Furthermore, a lot of our participants used the word smart to identify the customers or founders of Ryanair. The customers because they fly cheap and save money, the founders because they came up with this business idea. Since we heard it multiple times we thought it was a good idea to use this word in the ads.
Emotional Appeal ad: The advertisement shows a picture of a man standing in the airplane waiting for the stewardess to put his hand baggage in the locker above the seating’s. The man is tall, wearing a nice classy button down shirt with normal jeans. This shows a man with style, but it does not show too much richness which will clash with the cheap image of Ryanair. Both the stewardess and the man on the ad have a smile on their faces. The text provided underneath the picture says: “Be smart, save money, fly Ryan Air”. This ad will serve two goals.
First because of the smiling, friendly and helpful stewardess it will take away the negative association people have of less service and less qualified employees of Ryanair. Second, by showing a man where our target audience can relate to and describing him as smart, we make the association of customers of Ryanair are smart. Also it shows that the average customer is very mainstream, so it could be anyone. Two-Sided advertisement: The two-sided advertisement should show a negative association of Ryanair, but not the biggest and counter argue with it.
What we mean by this is the fact that for instance secondary airports are sometimes associated negative since they are small and not always close to the city, but it can also be an advantage. Flying on secondary airports means less waiting time for your luggage, less walking time to board, less searching what gate you have to get to and for instance cheaper parking lots. The advertisement shows a small airport on the background. On the foreground it shows the text: “Yes, we don’t fly on main airports, can you come up with the benefits of this!? We can! ” * Less waiting time * Cheaper parking lots No big crowds “Be smart, save time, fly Ryan Air”. This ad will serve the goal of showing benefits of flying on secondary airports. Showing customers that it is not only cheaper, but it also saves time and it is customer friendly (less waiting time and no big crowds). Again we try to put a positive attitude toward the association cheap and we use the word smart again. Comparative advertisement: The comparative advertisement shows a picture of two airplanes flying in the air next to each other. It shows a clear sky with an orange sun on the background, as a nice summer evening.
Both airplanes are Boeing 737-800’s. One airplane is a Ryanair airplane and the other is an airplane of one of the competitors, for instance one of KLM Royal Airlines. Underneath the picture it says: “Can you see the difference? Your wallet can…! ” “Be smart, Save money, fly Ryan Air” The goal of this ad is the fact that less quality is associated with cheap. This ad shows that Ryanair uses the same airplanes as some of their competitors. We try to show that Ryanair should not be associated with less quality. We also use the word smart again and we associate Ryanair again with the positive association cheap.
Internet Commercials Like we mentioned before we do not want to show any TV commercial during this summer campaign since that will costs too much. Instead, we want think it will be good to have a short commercial for on the internet. This will be used on the Ryan Air website, so the use of the commercial will almost be free of costs. When you enter the website this commercial will pop up and play. There should be an option to close the ad if , to make sure the customers do not have to watch it every time they enter the website. This can cause irritation and we do not want to irritate potential customers.
We want the commercial to be in the same setting as the banner ads. If the commercials and advertisements are consistent this will reinforce the effect they have. Most important for this commercial is to, again, emphasize the positive consequences of flying cheap and linking this with being smart. For our internet commercial we will use the same man that we used in our online banner. This is an ordinary person, where most of Ryanair its audience can relate himself to. Because we want to reinforce the link between Ryanair and the association holiday, the man will be with his family.
They check out a luxurious hotel where the employees are very friendly and helpful. The family gets into a car and drive to the airport. There they board on a Ryanair plane. When they board on the plane, the stewards are also very warm and welcoming and helping the family with storing their luggage. The camera zooms out and the final shot is the airplane taking off. On the screen the following text appears: ‘Be smart, save money, fly Ryanair. ’ With this commercial we want to make the link between the service in a luxurious hotel and the service in the Ryanair plane.
We want to point out that there are similarities between the two, in both cases the employees are warm, friendly and helpful. Furthermore we want to show that by saving money on the flight the family could afford to stay in a luxurious hotel, in other words they were smart because they saved money on their flight in order to stay in a luxurious hotel during their stay. Conclusions: To sum up the process to the final brand concept map. We conducted interviews based on the funnelling technique. After this we used the BCM method to come up with our final brand concept map.
We found out that there were several positive and several negative associations with Ryanair. Especially the fact that the positive association ‘cheap’ was linked with only negative associations got our attention. We decided that this part of the brand concept map was the part we wanted to change by a communication idea. We came up with an Spring/Summer 2013 Campaign for Ryanair. This campaign would consist of several advertisements and a single commercial we wanted to use on the website. The main theme of our advertisements is to emphasize the positive elements of cheap and to use the word smart in every ad.
Linking back to the TORA model we described before, in all the advertisements the steps of this model are taken into account. Step 1 of the TORA model is mainly processed in the emotional appeal ad we described. With this ad we try to change consumers’ beliefs about the service of Ryanair and the quality of their employees. In the ad we make the association of customers of Ryanair being smart, which represents step 3, making a new connection between the attribute ‘cheap’ and the (new) attribute ‘smart’. These arguments apply also for the advertisement about the benefits of secondary airports.
The comparative commercial with another airline is more about changing the importance a consumer assigns to an attribute, like step 2 of the TORA model. When seeing two airplanes next to each other of different airlines, where one airline is much cheaper, the most important feature of Ryanair, flying cheap, is made clear. With this commercial we can try to get consumers to change the importance they weight to the attribute ‘cheap’. Finally we showed the purpose of the website commercial, where the purpose is to emphasize the positive consequences of flying cheap and linking this with being smart.
Future research For future research we suggest to have a more varying sample and more participants. We focused on student

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