Brand Strategy

Optimising marketing communications by understanding drivers of airline choice

Business Challenge

A leading Australian airline recognised the need to establish a consistent communications approach following a series of changes in business strategy, which left the organisation short of their profitability targets. The client recognised that while growth was important, creating additional demand while maintaining the existing pricing structure would be imperative to achieving the business objectives.

Forethought Approach

To best position the airline for increased demand, we designed a research program that first sought to understand how air travellers choose between airlines. This identified the hierarchy of drivers that were most important in airline choice, which informed the Triple Play (Price, Quality and Emotional drivers) that guided all marketing communications activities.

The Triple Play became the foundational blueprint through which advertising and communications initiatives were screened and refined prior to launch. These communications efforts were measured ongoing through a tailored tracking program that provided a diagnostic assessment into the airline’s performance. By understanding which initiatives best resonated with customers and non-customers, the airline was able to adapt its executional activity accordingly.


By establishing a strategic partnership with Forethought, our client was able to bring a level of rigour to their marketing communications strategy. By basing creative on the discrete elements that drive choice in the airline category, our client was able to establish a single vision and an executional system that would best position the airline for growth.

This foundational research piece provided our client and respective media and creative partners the direction and enduring tenacity to focus on what was important to travellers. Further to this, the program created a forum that promoted triangulation of ideas and enabled ongoing advice for improvements to the marketing communications team. This enabled the airline which had to establish a single unified brand position in the market.