A New Airline's Quirky Search for Customers
Ultimately, Where Does Eos Find Customers?
Trans-Atlantic air traffic to and from the U.S. represents a $20 billion-a-year market with roughly one-third spent on U.K. travel. That said:
- A large percentage of business and first-class travelers are either upgrades or non-paying frequent fliers. Neither category is of interest to Eos.
- Many top executives pride themselves on flying economy class. Among them: IKEA's Ingvar Kamprad and the late president of Remington, Victor Kiam. Kiam used to say he had no need to fly first class. "The back of the plane arrives the same time as the front."
- Old money flies economy.
- The rich-rich (e.g., Warren Buffet and Don Imus) fly private jets everywhere.
So the potential universe for Eos—business travelers who pay full business fares—is quite small.
I have to believe that Eos is not a true business airline at all.
It's a plaything for fairly rich wannabes and the wannabe rich.
Takeaway Points to Consider
- When launching a business, it's imperative to know the size and make-up of your universe.
- Your new business can only make money two ways: satisfying needs and creating wants.
- It is folly to expect you can demand that the prospect work like hell for the privilege of doing business with you.
- The eight copy drivers—the emotional hot buttons that make people act—are: fear, greed, guilt, anger, exclusivity, salvation, flattery and patriotism. Telling business people that they must mail or fax proof of their worthiness to do business with you isn't flattering. It's presumptuous and a pain in the butt.
- Eos is overtly trying to build a business by cherry picking British Air and Virgin Atlantic customers—and saying so in its promotions. A promotional effort that mentions the competition by name, takes the consumer's mind off you and focuses attention on the other guy(s). If nobody has ever heard of you, chances are that are you'll come out the loser. As the old saw goes, "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know."