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- Why has Ryanair been successful thus far? 10 marks.
- Is Ryanair’s strategy sustainable? 10 marks.
- Would you recommend any changes to Ryanair’s approach in changing environmental circumstances? 10 marks.
- Did the Aer Lingus bid make strategic sense? Explain. 10 marks.
Question 1 – Why has Ryanair been successful thus far?
A major part of credit for the success of Ryanair must go to the branding approach of the company, which has remained extremely consistent and well promoted in company marketing campaigns (Topham, 2018). Across all business processes and market communications, Ryanair has retained one constant emphasis on establishing Ryanair has a brand that offer cheap airline services (Gill, 2016), ensuring that customers know the brand by its most appealing and important feature. Promoting cheap pricing of Ryanair services has also helped the company in establishing a perception among customers to not have high expectations in other aspects of airline service. Research studies by Rao (2005) and Shiv, Carmon, and Aricly (2005) suggest that a customer having details about brand information and price of service can easily create an unconscious impact on the expectations that customers have with the services offered by the business, which is similar to a placebo effect.
In addition to the branding, Ryanair has also focused on creating a good service record as a way of developing a sustainable business (Gill, 2016). For this purpose, Ryanair has enhanced its services across four different aspects of airline customer expectations that a customer would expect even from a cheap airline (Malighetti, et al., 2009)–
- Low fares that are competent even against other low fare airline companies
- A good record of punctuality in flight scheduling
- Keeping flight cancellations an exception rather than becoming a norm
- Taking care of baggage system to have fewer instances of lost baggage
In 2010, in the peak of global financial crisis, Ryanair was named as the largest aircraft company in the world in terms of total passengers travelled (O’Shea, 2018). The branding of Ryanair as a cheap airline helped the company significantly in this duration as customers of other premium and reputed airline companies hired services of Ryanair for its appealing pricing. It is because of the branding and suitable economic conditions that Ryanair was able to grow its total traffic to double the volume even in a period where the airline industry as a whole was experiencing significant decline in sales (Creaton, 2013). This decline forced many airline companies to lower their fare and Ryanair followed the suit in order to retain its low-price appeal and yet managed to achieve an overall growth in revenue (Creaton, 2013).
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