Many people feel that their company has an up to date brand if they have revised their logo in the last few years. There’s a bit more to it than that!

What is aviation branding?

Branding is simply the art of becoming knowable, likeable, and trustable.

– John Jansch

Having a recognizable logo and visual branding elements like fonts, colors, and a consistent design across your website, documents and trade show booth is important.  Those things are  “table stakes” for being recognized in the industry. But your brand is also the stories you tell, and the stories your customers tell, as they talk or think about their experiences with you.

Sometimes customers don’t have a choice about who they buy from.  If you’re lucky enough to be the sole provider of a particular product or service, congratulations!  There is not much need for you to differentiate from the competition and make sure your customers know, like, and trust you.  But most of us DO need to differentiate.  And since customers are so busy, most of us operate from “shorthand” in our daily life.

Think of any company you’ve done business with within the last week.  What comes to mind first?  A visual image?  A feeling? A phone conversation? An argument?  The reputation a company has in the mind of a customer IS the brand. It includes every interaction, every document, every phone call, and every time they touch a product on the shelf or open your app on their computer.

Paula: Welcome to this week’s episode. I’m Paula Williams.

John: I’m John Williams.

Paula: And our mission, is…

John: To help all of you, ladies and gents out there in the aviation sector, sell more of your products and services.

Paula: Absolutely. So, like most businesses, we get really involved in our clients and things going on and all kinds of stuff and we don’t spend a lot of time on introspection, which is not exactly true. We actually tried to be introspective for at least 5 minutes every Monday when we do our weekly meetings, and one thing that we discovered was that we really haven’t done much focus on our basic fundamentals, as a business, at least in our podcast.

We do it all the time with our clients, but we haven’t updated what’s out there about the fundamentals of what we do in a very long time.

John: True.

Paula: So we decided to do a short series of podcast episodes about the fundamentals and it’s just kind of a back to the basics. Here’s what we do and here’s why we do it, right?

John: Okay.

Paula: Okay. So this week we’re talking about branding and branding is a heck of a lot more than revising your logo. I always have to laugh when somebody sends out a press release because they have changed the color and their logo or something along those lines, which can be a big deal. I mean, you shouldn’t do those things unconsidered, but there’s a whole lot more that goes into your brand than your logo, your fonts, your colors, you know, things like that. When we do branding for a company, it goes right back to our strategy and planning. Who are we selling to? What do we want to communicate to them? Steve Jobs. It was Jeff Bezos. Oops, Jeff Bezos.
Let’s cut that out.

John: Yeah.

Paula: Jeff Bezos said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” So the only way to influence that is to be very [inaudible] of what happens while you’re in the room, right? So every interaction with a customer is part of your brand. And so you look at some of the great brands in the world, like Harley-Davidson, every time you call their office, every time you walk into a store, every time you go on a ride, every time you take a class, it is a deepening of your relationship with Harley-Davidson and it is a reflection of the Harley-Davidson brand, right?

aviation branding

John: That’s true.

Paula: And we just talked with[inaudible] a couple of weeks ago, about Disney. Disney has one of those brands where every single line you stand in, every single website you or web page you visit, every time you get on the phone with somebody from Disney, it is a reflection of their brand.

John: That’s true.

Paula: You talk to somebody’s sweeping the street on Main Street, USA and they know your name, somehow, in a creepy sort of way. But, seriously, they spend an awful lot of time and money and they understand that every customer interaction is on stage because that is a reflection of their brand.

John: All I know is I took my daughter there and had a robot, approach her and say, “Hi, Michelle.” and it was years ago, and she started crying. She said, “Daddy, he knows my name.” Because I teach her not to talk to strangers. This was a stranger.

Paula: No, you can talk to a stranger about Disney land.

John: Well, yeah, I know. But, you know, how she is. So, I explained to her that he probably heard her name. Nowadays, they would know you because of your wristband or whatever you wear.

Paula: Exactly. So branding is a lot more than that. And so when we do branding work with an aviation company, we want to look at what are some of the key phrases? What are the ways that you describe your product or service? Do your call your customers or do you call them clients or do you call them guests? I mean, there’s a lot that goes into your [inaudible].

John: Selecting those things.

Paula: Exactly. Well, we look forward to working on your brand as well.

John: Of course.

Paula: Seriously, I think what we bring to the table is a lot of experience with a lot of different types of aviation industry clients. So that is how we’ve evolved our business model. And this is the [inaudible] of what it includes, right?

John: That’s true.

Paula: Okay.