What we could learn from Air New Zealand

Date: 25th March 2011

As a company that likes innovation, smart new ideas and customer care we would like to draw your attention to our trusty airline, Air New Zealand. It would be fair to say that this company encapsulates all that it means to be a bloomin’ great Kiwi company. Let’s take a look and see what we can learn and apply to our business!

Rob Fife
Rob has proven himself to be an incredible leader. He has nursed Air New Zealand through some tragic times with grace, true professionalism and he has become the genuine human face of the company. He gets amongst the people, speaks so well and is savvy businessman with an impressive CV.
Leadership is everything; culture, tone and execution filters from the top down in a company. Worth taking a look at who is holding the reigns huh?
Rico – Beating Off the Track
Oh boy, have you met Rico yet? This cheeky little chap has become the airlines unlikely ambassador. Created with help from The Jim Henson Company, Rico’s tongue-in-cheek naughtiness has met mixed reviews. Take a look here.
This seems very Kiwi to me, pushing the boundaries and definitely doing what no-one else is doing. It is also about playing to your strengths and using what you have. Take one aspect of the company brand or personality and use it in a concentrated form?
Cuddle Class
Now this has never been done before and shows true innovation. Air NZ introduced Cuddle Class in 2010 and it has been a clever way to improve economy seat section instead of the common investment in improving business and first class. Basically if there are two of you, you can purchase the third seat at reduced cost. The seats fold out to create a couch, perfect spooning arrangement for the long haul flights!
Look for areas in your business that are not the most obvious places for improvement. Look for opportunities that nobody else has seen, then stand out from the crowd.
Paperless check in
The paperless check out counters are awesome. This makes the process of checking in, dropping bags, changing seats, all so easy. No more forgetting tickets! There are friendly staff there ready to help you. There is even a nice little iphone app, that will hold your boarding pass ready to scan, brilliant!
Look for ways that technology can streamline your business, but be there to help!
Safety message
There have been two exceptional safety messages delivered from Air New Zealand. Currently the clip features the All Blacks, loads of rugby puns and ties in the fans and the national culture and love for the sport in a very big rugby year. This is so well done, even the AB’s seem relatively comfortable with the acting. And the other is the naked “Bare Essentials of Safety” a nudey vid where all the staff are have their uniforms in body paint.
Consider what people care about and tap into it. If you can identify something that means a lot to people, use it as a tool to communicate in a meaningful way, your message will have more likelihood of landing.
The stewards and stewardesses are dressed in Trelisse Cooper, they look great and the service is superb. They have on-board ovens so they can serve pizzas, burgers and eggs how you like them mid flight. Great snacks, entertainment and staff makes almost every aspect of this company stunning.
Every little part of your business must measure up to create the entire experience for your clients, how the phone is answered, what staff wear and even the cleanliness of the foyer. It’s all important!
Air New Zealand are a fun business to watch, they have our national identity embedded beautifully in their culture, marketing and delivery. A tip of the hat to you Air NZ!

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