The Re-Discovery Of 'To Fly, To Serve'

The Re-Discovery Of 'To Fly, To Serve'

In 2010, British Airways found themselves with the desire to make their business more consumer-centric. To return to an era of brand-building to re-engage both internal colleagues and target customers, BA needed a new and competitively distinct masterbrand proposition.

After extensive re-examination of numerous internal customer segmentations, brand-trackers and ad-hoc qualitative and quantitative consumer research, The Value Engineers guided the team to the recognition that any new ‘brand’ story needed to be based on real and relevant brand truths. The truth (big idea) that wowed the team was the rediscovery of a motto from the era of “The world’s favourite airline”.

Embedded within the BA Crest, ‘To fly. To serve’ was a sentiment that could have fantastic relevance and currency for a full-service airline. Defined correctly and interpreted in a contemporary way, it could provide traction against both established competitors and emergent, low-cost carriers.

Equally important was gaining hearts and minds across the business, which meant defining exactly what was required for internal activation and implementation. ‘To fly, to serve’ needed to be “not just a slogan, but a promise” – a promise all BA employees needed to deliver and be measured against. We therefore developed a number of tools and processes to help engage the wider business.

Internal employee retention and satisfaction levels hit a 10-year high, while less than 6 months into in-market implementation, YouGov’s BrandIndex survey showed that British Airways had overtaken Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Emirates on brand performance with consumers.

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