In the present day, the business environment may be regarded as complex, dynamic, and continually developing. In order to retain sustainable competitive advantages and regain business growth, the majority of companies require appropriate strategic planning. In fact, the systems of formal strategic planning are immeasurably important for all industries. Technology-based companies that are characterized by constant service innovations, gradation of products, and price wars apply strategic planning as well to balance pre-determined organizational objectives and long-term vision with the short life cycle of products. In addition, mission and vision statements are not just well-framed and engraved words – they provide a foundation for the company’s strategical development. For instance, Nike’s statement sounds like “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete” (“About Nike”). It reflects the company’s status as an international corporation that aims to offer its products to all people all over the world.
It goes without saying that Singapore Airlines (SIA) is currently regarded as one of the most distinctive airline companies across the globe. It is primarily characterized by the exceptionally high quality of service provided for customers. Initially, as the company did not have domestic flights due to the country’s peculiarities, it focused on international routes in order to enter the global market. Besides traditional challenges connected with the establishment of passenger carriage that includes airport admissions, security flight slots, and landing rights, the company was occupied with the adoption of a new branding strategy to attract customers.
Over the last several decades, the SIA’s well-known marketing icon “Singapore Girl” and her image of composed, calm, and friendly hostess became synonymous with the company. According to Singapore Airlines, “dressed in her signature sarong kebaya, she’s the symbol of Asian hospitality recognized the world over” (“The Singapore Girl”). It goes without saying that the creation of the “Singapore Girl” icon and its excessive promotion in the company’s advertising and various communication types substantively contributed to the SIA’s awareness among other brands in Asia. First of all, Singapore Airlines’ stewardesses are distinguished from other companies’ flight attendants by the unique uniform designed in 1968 by Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain (“The Singapore Girl”). In addition, crew members aim to create an atmosphere of familiarity on board and give individual attention to every customer to satisfy his or her needs. However, the recognition of Singapore Airlines is determined not only by its branding strategy but by the highest quality of service as well. SIA was the first airline company that started to offer a choice of drinks and meals in Economy Class and provides passengers with free headsets for the system of inflight entertainment (“Our Heritage”). In addition, the company introduced its frequent flyer program that lets its members get rewards in exchange for miles.
While the company’s cabin crew consists of both female and male employees, only stewardesses are referred to as the symbol of SIA. That is why, despite the success of the introduction and promotion of the “Singapore Girl,” this concept still initiates a substantial number of controversies. Critics complain that it is old-fashioned, sexist, humiliating for Asian women, and intended to serve the desires and fantasies of male passengers. However, from a personal perspective, this accusation is substantively exaggerated. First of all, the marketing concept of the “Singapore Girl” praises femininity and the hospitality of Asian hostesses. Moreover, customer service in the airline industry implies the provision of comfort for passengers by crew members regardless of their gender. In addition, the SIA’s icon will definitely remain unchanged as it contributed to the image and popularity of the company for more than 40 years.
In general, Singapore Airlines may be regarded as a customer service-centric company that focuses on people’s satisfaction rather than the volumes of passenger turnover. This premium company does not intend to reduce prices and dilute its image to be competitive with low-cost carriers. It currently has all possibilities to preserve its price range as its solid reputation and the state of being relevant among affluent passengers allow to introduce economy Tiger Airways. It has a comparably lower price range that may satisfy the demands of a substantial number of passengers in short-haul or local routes.
“About Nike.” Nike.
“Our Heritage.” Singapore Airlines.
“The Singapore Girl.” Singapore Airlines.