I am always on the lookout for new travel industry books to read. I don’t often review books on this blog, but after Gary at VFTW posted a list of books he liked, I realized others were looking for travel industry books as well.
I was sent a copy of the book SOAR, written by Shashank Nigam, the CEO of Simpliflying, an airline industry marketing consultancy. I’ll be giving away the book (details below) and did not receive any other compensation for writing this review.
The book is about 193 pages plus acknowledgements, references and cited sources. The work is broken up into eight separate chapters covering the following airlines and what they do best:
- Southwest – boarding and marketing
- Finnair – design and focus on Asian clientele
- AirAsia – crisis management
- Turkish – Exceeding customer expectations and viral marketing
- Kulula – Creative marketing and re-envisioning your customer base
- Singapore – Cultivation of a legend
- Vueling – Operating an airline like a startup
- Air New Zealand – Fighting to be counted among the big boys
Some of the information in the first chapter was not new as I had already read Herb Kelleher’s NUTS! However, chapters on Finnair, Vueling and Singapore were full of new information and gave an inside look into the marketing operations for some of the world’s most exciting airlines.
Finnair had cultivated a focus on Asia and presents an opportunity for northern Asian cities as the shortest route through Europe and the US via their Helsinki base. They focus their marketing on Asian countries and have stayed committed to the market and it’s paying off.
Vueling shows how to be a startup in the airline industry (somehow inside of one of the largest airline groups in the world) — showcasing both the perils and the triumphs of such an operation.
The book also covers how Singapore Airlines has created, cultivated and kept the Singapore Girl through all of these years. How their service extends to the late passenger in economy, to the business mogul flying from city to city throughout the world.
I found the book very easy to read, but perhaps lacking in a little bit of depth. Each of these chapters could have done with another 10-15 pages of substance. The author could have taken a bit further dive into how these advantages and challenges have shaped their past and how it may change their future.
I am giving away my copy of SOAR to a lucky reader. Commenters should share their experiences on any of the above brands on twitter tagging both @travelcodex and @tripsherpa with the hashtag #SimpliSOAR, and I will award a random commenter my copy of the book one week from the post. Have you encountered these brands?