A Detailed Case Study on the Marketing Strategy of Air India

Updated on: Apr 2, 2023

  Hey there!

My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

Practical assignments, case studies & simulations from Business Review helped the students from this course present this analysis.

Building on this practical approach, we are now introducing a new dimension for our online digital marketing course learners - the Campus Immersion Experience.

If you find this case study helpful, consider leaving a comment below.

Air India is an airline service provider in India. It is owned by the Government of India. It is a member of Star Alliance, which is one of the largest airline alliances in the world. When it was founded in 1932, it was originally owned by TATA Sons. It became a public limited company in 1946. Air India since then has strived to be the best in the airline industry in India.

To keep up with the market, learning the digital ways of conducting marketing and business is a must. IIDE helps you learn these new-age skills, now a mainstay of the current professional environment.

Knowing how to effectively use digital space to advertise and showcase your brand to a tremendous number of consumers is one of the most sought-after skill sets. We provide different types of digital marketing courses for all kinds of learners- students, graduates, and professionals. In the Air India case study, we discuss the competitive analysis, marketing strategy, digital presence, and some marketing campaigns.

So let us begin with learning more about Air India.

Digital Marketing Academic Challenge 2024 - DMAC

About Air India

Air India is the flag carrier airline of India, headquartered in New Delhi. It is a government-owned enterprise. It operates a fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft serving domestic and international destinations. The airline has its hub at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, and several focus cities across India. Air India is the largest international carrier out of India with an adequate chunk of market share. 

The old logo of the airline is a red-colored flying swan with the ‘Konark Chakra’ in orange, placed inside it. The flying swan has been altered from Air India’s characteristic logo, ‘The Centaur’, whereas the ‘Konark Chakra’ is reminiscent of India’s logo.

Maharaja is the most lovable and recognizable figure. He may look like royalty, but he isn’t royal. He’s almost like a friend to every Air India traveler. A friend who reaches out with warmth and hospitality, even to the farthest corners of the world. 

Current News about the brand

  1. Air India is undergoing a transformation with a new logo: After nearly working on it for the past 15 months, Air India finally unveiled its new logo that will replace the old design– a red swan with orange spokes inside which was inspired by the Ashoka Chakra– with ‘The Vista’ a golden Indian window which symbolizes ‘Window of Opportunities’.
  2. Air India has announced a partnership with Bangkok Airways for interline travel: Air India has entered an interline partnership with Bangkok Airways. This will allow passengers with convenient connections via India’s Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Singapore gateways to and from Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia on the Bangkok Airways route network.

User persona

Buyer’s Persona

Name:

Michelle Dsouza

Place:

Mumbai

Age:

21 years

Profession:

Student

Motivation

  • Affordable fares
  • Comfortable travel experience
  • Special offers and promotions
  • Cuisine

Interest & Hobbies

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Surfing Twitter
  • Gaming

Pain Points

  • Labor unions and disputes
  • Concerns about the quality of service
  • Slow PR movement

Social Media Presence

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Youtube
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Marketing Strategy of Air India

A marketing strategy helps a company to achieve business goals and objectives. the company has proven to be a major contender amongst most of the other airlines in India. However, even though the company seeks to be India’s major ambassador to the rest of the world, it is bound to face a lot of competition, considering the vast amount of competition in a country as big as India itself. Let’s check out how Air India markets itself. 

The brand utilizes undifferentiated techniques because of which it is missing out on business sectors share in a business of this sort.  To make an unmistakable picture in the brains of clients, it utilizes a mascot to make a brand picture of neighborliness and a rich legacy, along these lines it utilizes. Value-based situating strategies are also heavily implemented by Air India. Several factors, along with governmental aid have also assisted Air India with arising as the biggest worldwide Carrier out of India. 

Air India’s Digital Presence

Digital presence is as important as a marketing strategy. In today’s time, each one of us is hooked up with different social media and to be active on each platform is a  must.

 

Instagram

 

ID: @officialairindiaexpress

No. of followers: 52.4k

No. of posts: 429

 

 

Facebook

 

ID: @airindia

No. of followers: 563,283

No. of posts: 2.7k

 

 

Twitter

 

ID: @airindiain

No. of followers: 439k

No. of tweets: approx 5649 photos and videos

 

LinkedIn

 

ID: Air India Limited

No. of followers: 76,621

 

On Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter,

  • Promotes new operations and routes
  • Contest results 
  • Pictures of the meals provided by them
  • Pictures of their fleets
  • Pun intended captions
  • New features like “web check-in”
  • Their pilots in their workplace
  • Interaction through festive posts
  • Engagement with their followers is nearly equal to zero as there are no such activities or campaigns carried out on either of their social media platforms.
  • Covid protocols
  • Some undeniable procedures before boarding the flight
  • They retweet the news articles that are about them

On LinkedIn, the posts are the same as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Insights and job vacancies are updated by the company. The impact of social media on business is no doubt huge. Organizations understand the essence of social media in building the brand and increasing overall revenue. 

Air India Marketing Campaigns

Marketing campaigns promote products through different types of media, such as television, radio, print, and online platforms. It not only promotes the product but also sends a meaningful message to connect with the customer. Campaigns carried out by Air India guarantee the best and the safest travel experience. 

1. Mascot

Probably India’s most recognizable mascot, the Air India Maharaja is usually depicted standing with his hands folded graciously in a namaste or bowed with his hand over his heart to welcome his guests. But now, the mascot has various other transformations. Let’s look at some of them. 

2. A dig at Indigo

Air India released two advertisements on Twitter in a veiled thread at IndiGo after a video showed one of its employees entering into a scuffle with a passenger. After the assault incident of IndiGo, Air India took a dig at IndiGo and promised “unbeatable service” with the letter ‘beat’ in blue- the theme color of IndiGo. The second one depicts Air India’s mascot ‘Maharaja’ in his trademark style with the tagline, “We raise our hands ONLY to say namaste”

IndiGo came in for criticism on Twitter for the incident with some calling for its boycott. 

3. War Ads

Air India and IndiGo are in war ads. Air India is stepping up its advertising campaign to lure consumers. Air India put up an advertisement on a wall panel right behind IndiGo’s check-in counters with a message- “Next time fly with Air India and feel the difference.”. It doesn’t mention any rival but the strategic placement says it all. Even IndiGo didn’t back off. It replied to Air India with an advertisement.

However, such aggressive marketing is a first for the national carrier. Air India is trying to muscle its way into the consumer’s mind with high-pitched advertising and discount offers.

Digital is the new name. You need to be alert, adaptable, and executive on the trends. Having a digital presence makes it easy for consumers to browse through your portfolio even when you are sleeping. It facilitates easy access without labor and rent. Let’s see how JSW Steel cracked this. 

Top 5 Competitors of this brand

  • IndiGo: It is officially known as InterGlobe Aviation Limited was founded in 2006 by Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal. It is one of India’s leading LCCs and largest airlines.
  • SpiceJet: It was founded in 1984 by Ajay Singh and Bhupendra Kansagra, it is an Indian budget airline that primarily serves domestic destinations within India.
  • Emirates: It is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group and one of the two flag carriers of the United Arab Emirates. It was founded in 1985.
  • Jet Airways: It was founded in 1992, initially began operating as an air taxi, and slowly grew into full operations. Jet Airways started international flights in the year 2004.
  • Air Asia: It is a Malaysian multinational low-cost airline. It is the largest airline in Malaysia by fleet size and destinations. It was founded in 1993.

Example of a Failed Campaign Or Backlash from Viewers

What was the issue?

A drunk passenger on the Air India flight from New York to New Delhi allegedly urinated on the 72-year-old woman seated next to him on the flight.

What backlash did the brand face?

Air India faced severe criticism for poorly handling the situation which had been delayed to be addressed for several months. Media dubbed this incident as ‘peegate’ which added to the brand’s humiliation. 

What did the brand do in this situation?

Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran and Air India chief executive Campbell Wilson issued apology statements addressing how they should have been swift in with dealing such a situation and expressed regret over their customers’ suffering. They also de-rostered the pilot and four of the cabin crew members on the flight.

Digital Marketing Academic Challenge 2024 - DMAC

 Conclusion

Air India has established its position as India’s largest and most effective air carrier on all fronts, according to the extensive studies done and information gathered. Their service is up-to-date and relevant, serving millions of passengers on a regular basis.

They aggressively position themselves in the market using a variety of promotional tactics, including campaigns and social media, to keep consumers informed about future packages and more. Consumers see their low prices as a competitive advantage and selling feature. Overall, their marketing and commercial tactics have been effective in propelling them to new heights while remaining innovative.

Thank you for reading! We hope you found this case study useful and learned about Air India’s Marketing Strategies and Presence. If you want to have a look at the case study of the LG brand, here you go.​If you did, be sure to share, comment, and check out more of our blogs! To get started in this field, have a look at IIDE’s Free Masterclass on Digital Marketing.

Share post via

Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

8 Comments

  1. sidd

    Hey, this was really insightful. I am curious to know your references from where you got the data for this study. Thanks!!

    Reply
  2. Moksha Vakharia

    Hey, is there any marketing stragies similarities between the air India and Tiffany And Co?

    Reply
  3. Prajwol Shakya

    The research on Air India was really good. Could you please write on ‘Marketing Strategy of Tiffany & Co.’?

    Reply
  4. Prajwol Shakya

    The Air India research was well done. Could you write about Marketing Strategy of Tiffany & Co.?

    Reply
  5. Prajwol Shakya

    The research on Air India was well-done. Could you write about the marketing strategy of Tiffany & Co.?

    Reply
  6. Prajakta Pawar

    Fascinating insights into Air India’s marketing tactics! I wonder how they navigate challenges and stay ahead in the ever-changing airline landscape.

    Reply
  7. Prajakta Pawar

    Interesting stuff about how Air India markets itself! I wonder how they handle problems and stay ahead in the changing airline business.

    Reply
  8. Aayushma Gautam

    An informative review of Air India’s marketing strategy, online presence, and competitive landscape. The case study provides a deep perspective of the airline’s attempts to engage consumers while remaining competitive in a changing industry.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Q