Oh, That $370

I was just looking at plane tickets from Barcelona to New York and came across some digital branding/communicating that, while quite possibly effective in the near term, can in no-way be helpful in the long term.

This is just plain (no pun) obnoxious. Though I do feel for these guys. They are in a brutally competitive sector and, no doubt, using a big bold font for the inexpensive ticket prices combined with small, light-gray font for the taxes and fees, works in the moment (sometimes). And a lot of companies do it, to varying degrees. These guys just took the cake on this particular search.

But it cannot work over time. It does not build trust. It destroys it.

$141 of sizzle, $370 of fizzle

This reminded me of a conversation I recently had with a marketing head for a well-known online brand (not in the travel sector) that has used aggressive pricing and taken a direct, make-the-sale-now approach to their marketing (and therefore their brand) since their earliest days. They are starting to explore  a more comprehensive brand that is built on other benefits and personality traits of the company– because people aren’t buying their story as much any more–and because competitors are beginning to use their story against them.

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