"We've grown passenger traffic by 28%"
As a second-generation business, the temptation to look towards competitors for examples of market expansion and business tactics had taught the company some hard lessons. Living Blueprint™ was asked to explore the company’s identity, uncover opportunities, and realign the vision for their future.
Executive and Company Alignment, Brand Repositioning and Strategy, Marketing Execution, Marketing Materials, Website
With airline travel being a highly competitive market, the challenge for a relatively small airline was to find room for growth in areas not dominated by the big carriers. The threat of being strangled by the deep pockets and seat sales of their competitors was a constant source of stress and frustration throughout the organization. Morale was low and business was down. There was also the added challenge of new leadership with a shifting culture.
The Catalyst Insight
Looking to its competitors for ideas led Pacific Coastal Airlines (PASCO) astray from what they did best and who they have been for almost 40 years. Rediscovering the reason for the company's existence was the first step in clarifying a vision for the airline.
The Living Blueprint
After leading PASCO through a series of Insight and Discovery™ meetings, qualitative and quantitative consumer research, as well as an executive retreat, clarity of vision began to emerge. PASCO is a vital service to the remote businesses and communities of the Pacific coast - transporting people, equipment and supplies. This small airline kept the coast of British Columbia connected, viable, and livable. Rather than considering themselves a small airline in only 15 airports, PASCO was re-conceptualized as the life-blood of 65+ destinations. "We’re in the business of British Columbia" became the rallying cry. It was more than a tagline. Historically this statement is the company's true purpose that has been enacted for decades.
A company-wide, three month internal communication strategy was developed by Living Blueprint™ and presented personally over two days by PASCO’s President, Quentin Smith, and Living Blueprint’s™ founding partner, David Childs, at each base of operations. Rolling out the new vision to everyone, from pilots to baggage handlers, gave the company a much-needed show of direction and vision, leading everyone along a shared path.
External communications and marketing efforts also shifted to focus on the businesses and communities that PASCO was uniquely qualified to service. The brand promise centred around the concept of ‘the story of British Columbia’. All positioning, branding, marketing, and business development leveraged this key concept.
Living Blueprint™ created the naming and structure for the new fare system to reflect the needs and accommodate the travelling habits of their customer base. By categorizing and emphasizing its commitment to affordability, flexibility, and convenience, PASCO enabled customers to prioritize between Bravo, Classic, and Encore fare platforms.
Within six months of the strategy being executed publicly, passenger traffic increased 28% over the next two years as a direct result of PACSO’s accurate new message. Alignment within the company bolstered morale and the new fare system drastically increased customer satisfaction.
Living Blueprint helped us rename our fare and pass systems in a way that was relevant, great-sounding, and fit our company and culture. To ensure that staff and stakeholders felt included, LBP created a three-month internal communication campaign and worked closely with our staff, encouraging two-way dialogue, creating staff questionnaires, and organizing base visits with both myself and Quentin Smith. We credit these measures in large part for the seamless acceptance of the new fare names and completely new booking system.