Analysis product is the heart of a company’s marketing

Analysis
typically starts with product dimension as the service product is the heart of
a company’s

marketing
strategy. Even if all other dimensions of the marketing mix were designed and
executed in

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an
excellent manner, a company could not be successful with a poorly developed
core product

(Lovelock
et al., 2008). The core service that customers purchase when they book a flight
is simply

getting
from point A to B. The airline product further consists of aspects like safety,
reliability in

13

terms of
punctual departure and arrival, services provided prior to the flight which are
mostly

experienced
at the airport, in-flight services including food and beverages, In-Flight
Entertainment

and
Communication (IFEC), convenience regarding the seat itself and the available
seat pitch,

handling
baggage, type of aircraft and equipment and the interaction with staff which
will be

analyzed in
detail in Section 3.2.5 . Kossmann (2006) also includes the brand which makes
sense as

the
reputation of an airline definitely depends on their brand image. Even though
the product is

many-faceted
(Shaw, 2011) Wensveen (2007) argues that there is hardly space for product

differentiation.
He points out that especially on short-haul flights airlines mostly provide

standardized
products. Assuming that airline A and airline B provide the same service, for
instance a

light-meal
service on a specific route, passengers are likely not to deduct a difference
between the

two
products. As a consequence they may choose the carrier which offers most
flights at a

convenient
time. Shaw (2011) mentions that in order to get a competitive advantage due to

differentiation
airlines have to be innovative. He illustrates this fact by providing evidence
of two

airlines
which are among the most successful companies at the moment: Emirates and
Singapore

Airlines.
Both companies are well known for their innovative services, especially for
those offered on

board of
their Airbus 380 aircraft. It might be argued that double beds provided by
Singapore Airlines

or spa
showers made available by Emirates have nothing to do with the core services of
an airline

and are
rather unnecessary. These services are not likely to be adapted by other
carriers and the

companies
managed to obtain public awareness and to show their willingness to innovate
their

products.
In this case, the new product features might not be a competitive advantage in
terms of

the fact
that customers prefer the two companies only because they actually find it as
important to

sleep in
double beds and take a shower during their flight. However, customers might
connect these

attributes
with the brand and see those companies as more innovative and attractive in
comparison

to competitors.