Airport premiums should be a privilege, not an inconvenience


Coming across a question posed by Noel Toolan @sspcmo at SSP

..do people expect to pay premium for all services in airports? Why?

I thought that perhaps it better to ask why should people be expected to have to pay an inconvenient premium for a convenience store at an airport?

Every airport store is a micro competitive economy.

They attract, or lose, freely travelling migrants to contribute to their economic wealth and in return customers expect to be rewarded or at the very least feel they belong to the store. The premium paid at these stores should convey a privilege.

Look at how a tourist board makes visitors get the sense of experience they would have before visiting the country. There is a sense of anticipation about making a trip to another country because there is a preconceived idea of what is in store on arrival and it is of course that experience that the visitor leaves with after participation in the trip. So each village (airport store) must have their own tourist board and the promotion must ensure that new visitors arrive with an expectation and leave with a sense of belonging.

Starbucks is a good example of why customers want to return again and again and happily pay a premium for the “privilege” and not feel inconveniently isolated with limited options?

How do you convey privilege to your customers and why would they want to belong to a store?

Social marketing media is the tourist board of any retail outlet and the results of a study today on UK retailers not making the most of social media makes for interesting reading. Only 26% make use of twitter while 24% make use of facebook and a mere 8% use blogs. Twitter is a means of broadcasting to followers while facebook allows participation and a sense of belonging.

Interaction with users need not just be in an airport and encouragement of participation in requests for users experience in facebook or immediate tweets on user experience currently in a store provides instant feedback and gives customers a sense of belonging or participation in the brand.

Social Media marketing for travellers

One of my favourite social brand examples are Wi-Fi providers for airport travellers “Boingo“. They actively encourage participation by offering rewards in return for contribution. For a catering company asking about their best experience at an airport store is rewarded with a free coffee. Customers need to feel they are getting more in return and achieving this need not require more than a friendly coffee next time they pass by, or better still stop by and remain loyal returning visitors.

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