End-to-End Marketing Strategy of Emirates Airlines

Updated on: Sep 14, 2023
Marketing Strategy of Emirates Airlines - Featured Image

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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from the online digital marketing course at IIDE - India's #1 digital marketing institute.

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An airline famous for offering luxury to the economy class, Emirates has really won it big in the global airline industry. Founded by the Dubai Government, Emirates started with just two aircraft and now it has expanded its empire with almost 263 aircraft.

In this case study, we will do an in-depth analysis of the Marketing Strategy of Emirates Airlines along with best campaigns, failed campaigns, top competitors, digital marketing strategies, buyer persona & much more.

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About Emirates Airlines

Marketing Strategy of Emirates Airlines | IIDE

Emirates, company was founded by the Dubai government in the year 1985. Their initial operations started with just two aircraft and now it is one of the largest airlines in the Middle East. The first flight of the airline was operated from Dubai to Karachi; since then the airline continued to expand. 

By the early 1990s  Emirates started to become a part of world’s fastest-growing airline industry. Currently, it serves 153 airports in 80 countries from its hub Dubai, UAE. It hails one of the largest numbers of the cabin crew.

Emirates had an extremely vital role to play in the Gulf War as only Emirates flew in the last 10 days of the war. Post which Emirates brand value has only grown by multiple folds ever since. 

With an active marketing strategy, Emirates Airlines is known for releasing campaigns that strike a chord with the audience. 

Now that we know the company, let’s see the Marketing segmentation of Emirates and how it reaps the benefits of marketing with its strategies.

What’s New with Emirates Airlines?

Here’s what has been buzzing with Emirates Airlines lately:

  • Emirates Airlines introduced a new Premium Economy class for passengers flying to Mumbai & Bangalore.
  • In 2023, Emirates Airlines announced a new giveaway where Dubai travelers will be given free stay at one of Dubai’s 4-5-star hotels. This offer was valid from May to August.
  • You can now own a part of the very first Emirates Airlines Airbus A380. Aviation Tags is selling tags made of the skin of the very first Emirates Airlines Airbus A38 and selling for USD 64.13.
  • Emirates Airlines has recently included an all-new vegan meal menu ever since they saw a 154% increase in the requests for plant-based meals.
  • They recently won it big at the Air Excellence Awards for Best In-Flight Entertainment and Best Premium Economy.

Now that we know of the latest news about Emirates Airlines, let’s understand the attributes and choices of an Emirates Airlines passenger.

User Persona of Emirates Airlines

Let’s look at an ideal customer of Emirates Airlines and what are their attributes, motivations & social media presence.

Buyer’s Persona

Name:

Akshay Chaturvedi

Place:

Delhi

Age:

34 years

Profession:

Entrepreneur

Motivation

  • Frequent business travel
  • Seeking comfortable & travel experiences
  • Convenient & efficient air travel
  • Global connectivity for business expansion

Interest & Hobbies

  • Business & entrepreneurship
  • Fine dining & gourmet cuisine
  • Luxury & high-end experiences
  • Traveling to exotic destinations

Pain Points

  • Time constraints
  • Reliable, punctual flights
  • Hassle-free international travel

Social Media Presence

  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

 

Marketing Strategy of Emirates Airlines

 

Emirates Market Segmentation

 

Marketing Strategy of Emirates Airlines | IIDE

Every customer has different needs so market segmentation is used to help to divide customers into groups according to their requirements. Segmentation into such groups helps the organization to satisfy the groups according to their need by developing such strategies.

Emirates follows the traditional approach in segmenting its customers. Market segmentation of Emirates is as follow:

  • It divides based on business travellers and price-sensitive travellers
  • They also segment based on customer loyalty.
  • Emirates also uses psychographic segmentation to divide the customers based on their interests, lifestyle, behaviour, attitude, opinions of customers.

 

– Emirates Target Market:

Upper-class and upper-middle fliers, Value-seeking fliers, non-price sensitive fliers who are seeking a comfortable flying experience are the target users for Emirates.

– Preferences:

Preference Strategy is used by Emirates where there are two major groups of business and leisure fliers. They both have various preferences of services. In this business, fliers are given more or additional importance as compared to leisure fliers.

– Demand Future:

Based on demand, customers are also divided. Leisure travellers demand entertainment features whereas business ones are provided more space and services such as telephone connections, internet, and workspace.

Basically, Emirates has managed to come a great way from 1985 till now. Further, we will study the Marketing Mix of Emirates.

Marketing Mix of Emirates Airlines

The marketing mix is the study of a set of actions that an organization takes to promote a brand or its product or services. It consists of 4P’s Product, Place, Price, and, promotion.

1. Emirates Products Strategy

 

Emirates Products Strategy - Marketing Strategy of Emirates Airlines | IIDE

  • Emirates offers a customer brand-new aircraft such as Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s.
  •  Emirates offers 3 different classes to their customers:
  1. Diamond First Class – It includes all the luxurious and extraordinary services. It provides all the comforts a customer could dream of like comfortable seats that can be converted into a bed, in-seat mini-bar, chauffeur service, a Bulgari amenities kit, and private suites.
  2. Pearl Business Class- Second class is planned especially for business executives which provides them with divisions for privacy, USB ports and sockets, massage functions, winged headrest.
  3. Coral Economy Class – It is for people who are looking for economic travel. The seats here are of standard size. It provides basic facilities like internet, the option of entertainment, headrests.
  • 70% of the aircraft provides you Wifi.
  •  Emirates was the first airline to provide:
  1. Invite Entertainment screens for all class
  2. Showers
  3. Private suite

Emirates has very well bifurcated their services according to their customer’s wants. Emirates provides their customers best product service according to their needs.

 

2. Emirates Distribution and Place Strategy

 

Emirates currently operates 3500 flights every week. The global network of Emirates is spread across 6 continents, 80 counties, and 153 destinations from its hub in Dubai, UAE. Emirates also has the longest non-stop flight from Dubai to Auckland. Emirates has used its hub as a strategic location for its maximum benefits to occupy the position of global transporter.

 It has also come up with short-route flights that have benefited customers and services that have benefited customers and the company.

Tickets for Emirates can be booked through travel agents or tour operators. The distribution strategy for it also includes their websites where you can book your tickets, cancel your tickets, seek information about price, available discounts, and packages offered. 

 

3. Emirates Pricing Strategy

 

Emirates Pricing Strategy - Marketing Strategy of Emirates Airlines | IIDE

Dubai is a major link between East and West which has helped Emirates a lot. As it can provide short route flights to customers and without a layover. Due to this Emirates provides tickets at reasonable rates as compared to other flights. It can maintain an effective pricing policy because of the direct flights it offers. 

Emirates has also adopted a premium pricing policy, which is charging a higher price as compared to other airlines for customers who ask for luxurious services. 

The pricing policy of Emirates is diversified. As the price also depends on cabin class and the seasonality of flights and holidays. Emirates is not based on a single pricing strategy whereas it uses different pricing strategies.

 

4. Emirates Promotion Strategy

 

Emirates Promotion Strategy - Marketing Strategy of Emirates Airlines | IIDE

Emirates has adopted various promotion strategies such as:

 

Other than that it also offers discounts on flight tickets at off-seasons. Emirates has also sponsored many events like ICC Worldcup in 2011 and 2015 and are official sponsors of the football club Arsenal. The tagline for Emirates is “Hello, Tomorrow” which is about inspiring people about tomorrow with unlimited potential. While hello is a greeting and invitation to a person or place or an experience.

Emirates launched a new advertisement featuring professional skydiving instructor, Nicole Smith-Ludvik, standing at the pinnacle of Burj Khalifa in an Emirates crew outfit. The aim of the one-minute advert was to invite people to visit Expo 2020 Dubai on the iconic Emirates A380. In the ad, Nicole held up message boards with an invitation to fly the Emirates A380 to the world’s greatest show, and as she did so, an A380 flew past her at a low altitude of only 2,700 feet. The video went viral on social media, and Emirates issued a statement, saying that the campaign was in line with Dubai’s “nothing is impossible” spirit.

You can check out the video here –

Emirates Airline Foundation is a non-profit entity that provides aid to countries at difficult times such as natural disasters or tragedies. Hence, Emirates has done a great job in promoting the brand this year by promoting it at various places.

Marketing & Advertising Campaigns of Emirates Airlines

Emirates is known for its successful marketing and advertising campaigns, but let’s look at some of the best from the lot. 

1. Commercials with Jennifer Aniston 

Emirates, rightfully, chose Jennifer Aniston as their ambassador in 2015 and it had one of the largest positive reactions all over the world. 

The Ad shows Jennifer Aniston having a nightmare of being on a flight other than Emirates where the facilities are limited. 


2. The Fly Better Campaign with Gerry the Goose 

The Fly Better Campaign was and is one of the historically innovative campaigns of Emirates Airlines. 

In this commercial, you can see Gerry the Goose ruffling his feathers after choosing to fly better with Emirates Airlines while other birds pass by, looking enviously. 

3. We’re on Top of the World – International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, one of Emirates Airlines’ air hostesses can be seen standing tall with pride on Burj Khalifa, creating both a record and a statement.


4. The Pilot’s Point of View 

One of the videos on Emirates Airlines’ YouTube channels is “How to Fly the World’s Largest Passenger Aircraft”. This video alone has 5.3 million views and is very wholesome according to me. Who wouldn’t want to know how a pilot flies an aircraft, something a lot of the audience is not capable of doing but can experience with the video? 


5. Penelope Cruz on Board 

In the year 2023, Emirates Airlines brought on board Penelope Cruz, an Academy Award Winner as the face of their brand.

Through a series of video commercials, you can see that Penelope Cruz is talking about her experience of luxury in Emirates’ business and first class. 

 

6. Sponsorships across the Globe 

Emirates Airlines is also known for sponsoring many events across the globe. 

Here are some of the events Emirates has sponsored: 

  • Sponsored the Emirates Air Line cable car over the River Thames in East London from 2011 until 2022.

  • Sponsored the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, renaming it “Emirates Spinnaker Tower” in 2015.

  • Sponsor of Cricket Australia, Lord’s Taverners, and Pro Arch Tournament.

  • Branding on international cricket umpires’ shirts.

  • Official partner of the International Cricket Council, associated with major ICC tournaments.

  • Sponsored various teams of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

  • Primary shirt sponsor of Arsenal since 2006 (until 2028).

  • Sponsors AC Milan, Real Madrid, Benfica, Olympique Lyonnais, Étoile du Sahel, New York Cosmos.

  • Title sponsor of the FA Cup, Emirates Cup, and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

  • Past sponsors of Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, and Hamburger SV.

  • Became one of the official premier partners of Expo 2020 hosted by Dubai.

Now let’s dip deep into the top competitors of Emirates Airlines.

Top Competitors of Emirates Airlines 

With more than 35 years of experience, Emirates has come a long way in establishing its brand image. It has also reached the maturity stage in the product life cycle, and in this stage, competition is also high.

  • Etihad Airways: Abu Dhabi’s state-owned airline known for its luxurious onboard experience.

  • Qatar Airways: Doha-based airline known for its award-winning service and modern fleet of aircraft.

  • Lufthansa: Germany’s flag carrier known for its efficiency and reliability.

  • Singapore Airlines: Singapore’s flag carrier known for its excellent service and luxurious onboard experience.

  • Turkish Airlines: Turkey’s flag carrier is known for its rapid growth and extensive network of destinations.

  • British Airways: United Kingdom’s flag carrier known for its international reach and iconic red livery.

  • Cathay Pacific: Hong Kong’s flag carrier known for its excellent service and strong focus on Asia.

  • Qantas: Australia’s flag carrier known for its long-haul routes and iconic kangaroo logo.

  • Air France: France’s flag carrier is known for its stylish onboard experience and focus on French cuisine.

  • Delta Air Lines: One of the largest airlines in the United States known for its extensive domestic and international network.


Emirates Success Factors

  • It gets strong financial support from the Dubai government
  • Heavy sponsorships and marketing in the world
  • Strong and recalling brand
  • Diversified culture and
  • The loyalty of their employees and customers
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Conclusion

Emirates has a strong brand name. There are certain things or strategies that they can adopt such as they should expand their authorized offices so that customers can comfortably buy physical tickets from nearby. They should also move towards a price leadership strategy to gain lower-class price-sensitive customers.

So in the above case study, you saw how companies are promoting digitally, so you want to learn a digital marketing course after reading this. IIDE offers you various such courses. Do visit our blogs to read more such case studies- iide.co/case-studies/

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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]

1 Comment

  1. shafaq

    well, I believe Turkish Airlines is also in competition as flyers from the USA prefer Turkish nowadays due to airfare and comfort.

    Reply

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