Beyond Price • THINK Global Research

Think about the best retail experience you have ever had. Now think about the best airport experience, followed by the best hotel experience. What were the factors that made them so special? Was it the uniqueness of the experience? Was it the “above and beyond” customer service, or the fact that the reality surpassed your expectations?

Is price really king?

Ask customers what would enhance their experience, and their first response is usually “lower prices”. However, in reality price related factors seldom lead to loyalty. People make a payment and forget about it, while “experience enhancing” factors leave a lasting impression.

Price war and peace…

We conduct a lot of research in the aviation industry. It’s interesting to see so many airline companies going into price wars, and treating experience as a secondary factor. Meanwhile, customers are building long term loyalty to airline brands that enhance their travel experiences through superior service, engaging brand personality and extra benefits. While these customers may occasionally make price-based impulse flight purchases, overall they have clear (often less discounted) bands of preference that they give their repeat business to. What’s also interesting is that each airline’s customers are highly unique, with completely different values and priorities guiding their purchase decisions – therefore in theory there is plenty of space in the sky for all airlines to comfortably co-exist.

What factors do your customers value above price? What does their recollection of experience with your brand look like? Brands that avoid price wars can do so, as a result of knowing the answers to these questions.

Written by:

Lana Bruskina – Strategy and Insight Manager

For further information on THINK Global Research, please contact Kristy Ihle (Managing Director) at

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