We spend a lot of time building  an aviation brand  for each of our clients. So please don’t undo our great work!

A brand is really a just a shorthand for the way a customer feels about you. So if you don’t meet their expectations, your brand stands for disappointment.


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Paula Williams:             Welcome to this week’s episode of the aviation marketing podcast. Today we’re talking about how to destroy your brand in 10 minutes or less.

John Wood:                  Exactly.

Paula Williams:             I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams:                  I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams:             And we ABCI. ABCI’s mission is…

John Williams:                To help all you ladies and gentlemen out there in the aviation world sell more products and services.

Paula Williams:             Absolutely. So why are we telling you how to destroy your brand in 10 minutes or less?

John Williams:                 So you won’t do it.

This Episode Has Been Brought To You By . . .

Aviation Sales & Marketing LabPaula Williams:             So you won’t do it, that’s exactly right. We do a lot of work with a small to medium sized aviation companies in business, in general aviation and aerospace in general.

We do a lot of work with brands and this episode is brought in by our Aviation Sales and Marketing Lab, where we work with individuals, consultants, marketing professionals, sales professionals, and other kinds of folks on their personal brand as well as their company brand.

John Williams:                   Exactly.

Paula Williams:             And after all of that work, we don’t want you to ruin it, right?

John Williams:                   And if you join, you can get in the game.

Paula Williams:             Absolutely. This is a great group of people that helps each other because they’re all in different parts of aviation and it’s really great to have somebody to bounce some ideas off of and they are very frank.

John Williams:                   They shoot straight.

Paula Williams:             But very supportive and very helpful to each other as well. So I mean, we couldn’t ask for a more fun and helpful and supportive and warm group of people. I’m really looking forward to seeing everybody. We get to see everybody once a year, usually, or twice a year at NBAA.

This year we’ll be in Las Vegas. So I’m looking forward to that. The rest of the time it’s all online pretty much. But that’s the way life is these days.

This Article About Destroying an Aviation Brand was Inspired by  An Article in Forbes –  “What Verizon Can Learn from Apple About the Power of A Single Customer Experience”

How to Destroy an Aviation BrandOkay, so this article was inspired when John read an article about what Verizon can learn from Apple about the power of a single customer experience. This was in Forbes magazine last month, right?

John Williams:                  It was Forbes or the Wall Street Journal, I don’t remember.

Paula Williams:             It was Forbes. It says so, right there.

John Williams:                   It does?

Paula Williams:             Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John Williams:                  Where?

Paula Williams:             Top of the page.

John Williams:                  Oh. All the way at the top.

Paula Williams:             Exactly. So yeah, and you brought this to my attention and said this would be a great podcast.

John Williams:                   And here we are.

Paula Williams:             And here we are. So tell us why you think this would be a great podcast.

John Williams:                   Well, because in Verizon, at least the store I visit typically does not do this, but this particular individual went in to upgrade their account. And all they got was a sales pitch on how they could do this or that or the new Apple phone or a new iPad or a new tablet.

That’s not what they wanted.

They kept on and on, haranguing and haranguing them, and finally they put their foot down and said look, can you upgrade my account or should I go to AT&T? They got the message loud and clear. But you shouldn’t have to do that.

Paula Williams:             Right, you shouldn’t have to put your foot down as a customer.

John Williams:                   No.

Paula Williams:             You should be able to say what you want and get it, right?

John Williams:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Okay, So We’re Apple Freaks.

Paula Williams:             And the difference between that and Apple, we’re kind of Apple freaks, you may have noticed that we have Apple stuff all over the place. The marketing works for one thing.

But for another thing, when you go into an Apple store, I have never had anybody give me a sales pitch inside of an Apple store, ever.

John Williams:                   No, you have to ask them.

Paula Williams:             Right. You ask them about this product or that product. And if it’s a problem that you need to solve, like I had a battery problem with a phone the day that we were leaving on a trip. So we got up really early and we went to the Apple store and we waited. We were actually there an hour early unfortunately.

But there was a guy there and he said let me get you on the list so that you’ll be first in line. I don’t want you waiting here, go have breakfast, come back full and happy and then let’s fix your problem and get you on your way so that you’ll make your flight with a good battery.

John Williams:                 And that’s exactly what happened.

Paula Williams:             Exactly. Did not care about upgrading my phone, didn’t try to sell me anything additional or anything else. He just said let’s get you an appointment, meet your schedule, solve your problem, get you the heck out of here because that’s what you want and that’s what we want.

John Williams:                   They put her laptop in, which is, what 12, 13 years old now?

Paula Williams:             Right.

John Williams:                   But still hotter than sliced bread. So it had an issue and I said when you do this, would you mind also cleaning, vacuum out the inside of it?

Oh, no problem, we would do that anyway.

There you go.

Didn’t even have to ask, but I didn’t know that. They didn’t try to sell me anything. Then it came out and said we have two options, this or this. Which one do you want? Just gave it to me, I said option A.

Paula Williams:             Right. So with Apple, as with a lot of companies these days and as with our company, all of the sales is done upfront with advertisements, with podcasts, with articles, with comparisons and other marketing materials.

It is not done by human beings, and that’s partly because I am not very good at selling on the phone.

I don’t do these high pressure webinars, I don’t do any of that stuff. And that’s the brand of Apple, is being really, really low key, being really, really forceful about having powerful, powerful advertising and powerful marketing materials and targeting people and having really strong products.

John Williams:                   And understanding customer service.

Paula Williams:             Exactly.

John Williams:                   One of the few out there.

Paula Williams:             Right, exactly.

Advice from Warren Buffett

So the reason that we’re talking about this today is because, and this is a quote from the article, Warren Buffet, this has been seen all over the place and just about anytime people are talking about customer service, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

How to Destroy an Aviation BrandSo when a customer comes to us for a brand refresh.

We spend a lot of time going over colors and fonts and logos and taglines and the right words and the right message and the right everything.

We spend a lot of time getting that perfect and tweaking it and artists and writers and bears, oh my, all of that work can be for nothing if your brand, and no matter how beautiful and shiny your brand is, if it gets associated with a bad experience, right?

John Williams:                Oh, absolutely.

Paula Williams:             So for the customers that we’ve done brand refreshes for, please do not drag that through the mud, exactly, by giving your customers a bad experience or by giving them a high pressure sales situation because aviation, we’ve just found that that doesn’t work, right?

John Williams:                 Nope.

When To Do A Sales Pitch (And When NOT to Do A Sales Pitch!)

Paula Williams:             And the interesting thing is, right now in our book club the last two months we’ve been reading Zig Ziglar books. And part of what we’re talking about when we talk about these books is the difference between retail and aviation. As one thing, Zig Ziglar’s super aggressive. He’s like you have my money in your pocket and I have [crosstalk 00:07:41].

John Williams:                   Your product.

Paula Williams:             Your product in the trunk of my car. This was back when he was selling pots and pans door to door. He would never lose out on a sale because he was so pushy and aggressive. In our industry, that just isn’t going to fly, right?

John Williams:                  No, not at all.

Paula Williams:             Exactly. So we love Zig’s enthusiasm. We love his concern for the customer, there’s a lot of the things that he does that are actually really, really helpful, a lot of the techniques and setup and follow up and everything else. But the particular style of what you do when you’re eyeball to eyeball with the customer has changed, I think, between the 1950s and now.

John Williams:                   His process and procedures are typically pretty good.

Paula Williams:             Exactly. And also, the difference between retail and aviation, there’s a huge difference there too.

John Williams:                   Oh, big time.

Paula Williams:             So you have to have really, really strong marketing and really, really advisory customer service and sales, right?

John Williams:                 Right.

Paula Williams:             All right, well, thanks for joining us and have a great afternoon.

John Williams:                  And we’ll see you next time.


Other Articles about Aviation Brands:

Three Ways to Update Your Aviation Brand for 2019

Branding Mishaps – and the Insider Circle

Brand Advertising versus Direct Response Advertising

Aviation Marketing Master Class – Genaro Sanchez, Cutter Aviation talks about images, video and branding.

Use Your Company (Or Product’s) Core Story to Build Your Brand

I’m not Boeing, Coca-Cola or NetJets. Can I Afford a “Brand?”

Building Reputation and Credibility with Aviation Branding