Friday, December 18th, 2015

Reputation Counts: How Virgin America and JetBlue Convert Brand Into Yield

Premium Pricing Requires Uncommoditizing The Product
Reputation Counts: How Virgin America and JetBlue Convert Brand Into Yield Michael Kelley

Does the reputation equity of a esteemed brand add financial value to its owner, greater than that of an interchangeable commodity?

And further, can this added value be quantified, by exposing the premium consumers are willing to pay for a high reputation brand?

The answer to both questions is yes.

In this example from the airline industry, Nick Young of Hopper examines why Virgin America and JetBlue are successful in maintaining premium ticket pricing in the face of often intense route competition.

Key is uncommoditizing the product:

Compel shoppers to play out the trip in their heads. "I'm going to be on a plane for four hours. Are snacks, Wi-Fi access, in-seat entertainment and, extra legroom worth a few dollars more?"

Compared to North American competitors, JetBlue and Virgin America differentiating factors include fleet-wide in-seat power, and fleet-wide seat-back entertainment.

And then there's passenger satisfaction.

JetBlue and Virgin America are the only two among 11 North American airlines considered four-star carriers by Skytrax. JetBlue also tops J.D. Power's 2015 North America Airline Satisfaction Study in the low-cost carrier category, while Virgin America tops Wichita State University's Airline Quality Rating three years in a row [JetBlue is #2 and #4 the past two years].

Further analysis at

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.


Contact Us

Find Us

From Address:

Locate Us

443 Park Avenue South
11th Floor
New York, NY 10016

(212) 300-3760