Indigo Airlines is one of the pioneer companies when it comes to low-cost air travel in India. The main vision of Indigo is to make air travel accessible to lower-middle-income sections of society by providing low-cost air travel. Thus, In this blog, we will discuss about the marketing strategy of Indigo Airlines.
It has come a long way since its inception in 2006. Let us explore how the company has achieved success and became a market leader over the years in the airline industry by discussing the marketing strategies of Indigo Airlines. This case study of Indigo Airlines analyses the marketing mix, swot analysis, target audience, and social media presence of the company.
Before we dive into the different marketing strategies of Indigo, Let us look at a brief description of what indigo as a company is.
About Indigo Airlines
Indigo Airlines was founded in 2006 by Rahul Bhatia of Interglobe Enterprises along with Rakesh Gangwal.
As recorded in January 2021, Indigo is undoubtedly India’s No. 1 and Asia’s 3rd passenger airline with a market share of 54.2%. Indigo has emerged as the market leader within a short period beating its main competitors like Spicejet and Air India.
Even after emerging as the market leader, Indigo is still one of the fastest expanding aviation companies. Indigo was started with one flight that travelled from New Delhi to Imphal with a pause at Guwahati. From there, Indigo has grown so much that it now has more than 250 flights to its name. After establishing itself in the domestic market, Indigo is now going global with the vision of expanding its business to new horizons. The strong brand name that the company has made in the Indian market has helped Indigo to launch its global operations much easier.
The future growth prospects of the company are on the brighter side of the page. The company has come to a significant distance since its inception but it still has a long way to go in both the domestic and international market
Indigo has successfully revolutionized the low-cost carrier market in India for sure, let us see how they have utilized the marketing tools of the marketing mix.
So, now let’s start with the segment of the audience that Indigo Airlines targets
Target Audience of Indigo Airlines
Target audience is the segment of the audience that you select from different segments that we create while the process of segmentation
Indigo Airlines targets middle-class people. The Lower middle-class people have a preconceived notion that air travel is expensive than trains and they were not happy with the price and service of the existing airlines. Let us see how Indigo targeted these people in the market.
- The target market of Indigo is based on the lifestyles of people, their attitudes, and personality
- Indigo Airlines focuses on targeting the Middle-class people
- Indigo has been able to build a loyal customer base over the years by creating a strong and reliable brand name
- The brand targets tier 1 and tier 2 cities to provide its services because the majority of its customers are from the cities
After this, Indigo needs to go through the 4Ps of the marketing mix to get a clear idea if their product is worth the charge and if their target audience is capable enough to pay that or not?
Marketing Mix of Indigo Airlines
The concept of marketing mix typically comprises of 4aspects that are also known as 4Ps that are as follows
The concept of the marketing mix is universal to all companies. No company can survive in the long run without a proper marketing mix. Marketing mix simply refers to a set of tools used by the company to achieve its goals in the target market.
Let us now understand the individual components in the marketing mix of Indigo Airlines. Let’s start with the product strategy.
1. Product Mix of Indigo Airlines
- The central product of Indigo is low-cost air travel which enables even ordinary people to experience air travel
- The product offered by Indigo is mainly for passengers but the cargo department of Indigo has also picked up speed in the last few years
- The success of Indigo was mainly because of its focuses on efficiency in its services as well as on reducing costs
- The success of their product can be seen in their profits too. For the past few years, other low-cost carrier companies like Spicejet and Air India has been in losses whereas Indigo has been making consistent profits
- Finally, Indigo has positioned itself as a low-cost carrier targeting all the groups of the society including the lower-income groups which the big companies weren’t able to do so
2. Price Mix of Indigo Airlines
- Price is one of the biggest competitive advantages of Indigo.
- It has established itself as a low-cost carrier in the market offering low fare air travel to all categories of people
- Indigo is viewed as one of the most affordable air transportation services in India
- It is mainly because of the low fare service and efficient reduction of costs that the company has achieved so much success
- Within a competitive market where even acquiring new customers is very difficult, Indigo has continued to thrive and make profits by increasing the number of customers
- Low fares along with quality services have enabled Indigo to capture a large share of the market
- Even though Indigo faces tough competition from Spicejet and Air India, at present, there are no airlines in India that can overtake Indigo when it comes to cheap prices.
3. Place Mix of Indigo Airlines
- Indigo believes in providing more capacity on fewer routes rather than expanding over many routes
- The huge distribution of the business network of Indigo which includes both online and offline has helped to ensure a hassle-free travelling experience for the customers
- With the help of these networks, Indigo’s customers can book their tickets online or offline through various channels like booking agencies from all over the country
- The destinations of the Airline are spread across the major cities of the country to which helps to provide better service to its customers
- The company is expanding its destinations to new areas intending to grow its business and increase the number of customers
- Indigo is viewed as reliable in the few destinations they operate and this helps to acquire more customers
- Also, new destinations will require investments in infrastructure which will lead can lead to increasing costs for the company
4. Promotion Mix of Indigo Airlines
- Indigo has been able to capture the local market better than any other competitor
- It mainly uses its low price and availability to boost its brand across the market
- Indigo’s investments in advertisements are usually low because it affects the overall cost of the company
- Instead, the company launches subtle and low-cost marketing campaigns to market its brand
- One such campaign was the “India By Indigo” campaign launched by Indigo for festive seasons
- The above campaign was launched to celebrate the diverse Indian culture with festivals over few months which included Durga Puja, Diwali, and Christmas
- Indigo has also launched several offers to attract customers like the “Freedom to Change” offer
- The above offer launched by Indigo enabled people to make unlimited changes to their booking at no extra cost
- Other marketing methods like billboards, print media advertising, and advertising on travel ports have also been used by Indigo
The brand has strategically utilized the tools of the marketing mix to its advantage. Now to give the best competition to its competitors one must know their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats which are also known as SWOT
let us identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the market with the help of SWOT analysis.
SWOT Analysis of Indigo Airlines
SWOT Analysis identifies the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the business which helps in making strategic plans & decisions. Let’s have a look at the SWOT analysis of Indigo Airlines.
1. Strengths of Indigo Airlines
The Strengths of Indigo Airlines are as follows
- Biggest market share in Airline industry
- Successful implementation of low fares strategy
- On-time departures of the airlines
- Brand Awareness – good advertising and promotions
- Frequent flights to the same destinations
- The constant development of services
2. Weakness of Indigo Airlines
- Less focus on business class
- A limited number of routes and number of seats compared to others
- Need improvement on customer services
- Got into controversies many times
3. Opportunities of Indigo Airlines
- Establish international routes
- Providing better services
- Create awareness among the low-class people
4. Threats of Indigo Airlines
- New entrants with low fares as competitors
- Unstable government policies
- The rise in fuel cost
- An increase in labour cost affects the company
After looking for How Indigo can give competition to its competitors, let’s see who are the competitors for Indigo
Competitor Analysis of Indigo Airlines
Any company when launching their product in a highly competitive market needs to know what their competitors are up to and what facilities they provide, and at what rate, for this, a company needs to go through competitor analysis.
The low-cost carrier market in India is a highly competitive market where brands have to do everything they can to acquire customers. Some of the main competitors of Indigo are mentioned below.
- Spicejet is a public company that was founded as a private company in 1984
- It is an Indian origin company headquartered in Gurgaon
- It mainly operates in the low-cost carrier segment in the domestic market
- It had a big market share to its name for many years, but with the arrival of Indigo Airlines, it suffered a huge setback
- The company is in losses for the past 3 years
2. Air India
- Air India is the national carrier of India founded in 1932 as a government company
- It is headquartered in New Delhi
- The company has been running losses for the past few years
- The government of India is looking to disinvest the company because of the immense debt accumulated over the years
- More than 25000 employees are working in Air India
- Vistara commenced its operations on 9 January 2015
- It was founded as a private company by the joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines
- Vistara is headquartered in Gurgaon with its hub at Indhira Gandhi International Airport
- Vistara is currently the 6th largest domestic airline
One of the main takeaways of the above competitor analysis is that Indigo has been able to generate profits whereas its competitors have been making a loss for the past few years. Let us now analyze how Indigo uses its social media presence to its advantage.
Social Media Presence of Indigo Airlines
In today’s modern world, a brand is only valuable as its presence on social media. Social media helps a brand to connect with its potential customers more efficiently. Let’s analyze the social media presence of Indigo Airlines on different social media platforms.
- Through social media, Indigo can reach a mass audience at a relatively less cost
- Indigo uses various social media platforms to reach out to its potential customers who are otherwise difficult to reach through traditional methods
- With the help of digital marketing, Indigo has been able to reach more and more customers
- Even though Indigo uses social media to promote its brand, one of the interesting things the company did was going “Anti Social” with customer feedback
- Indigo used to show this message to people when they travelled with them. They wanted people to send their feedback via text message and not through social media
- This is because Indigo realized that there will be always some customer complaints and that will damage the brand image. Instead, they promoted feedbacks via text messages
- Even with all these precautions, Indigo has been in several controversies through social media, the most controversial one being in a video shared through social media depicting an Indigo employee mishandling a passenger
The unique marketing strategies along with the low fare travel and the quality of service provided by the company have enabled them to emerge as the market leader in the segment and generate consistent profits over the years. Now, let us conclude the blog and appreciate the brand.
To conclude as for the marketing strategies of Indigo Airlines, they have come a long way thanks to their strategic positioning in the market and unique marketing strategies. The quality of service and successful reduction of costs has contributed immensely to their success. Indigo has also successfully demonstrated that it can use the power of social media to boost its brand and at the same time can go “Anti Social” to reduce any brand damage.
Indigo is one of the fastest-growing airlines in the country despite being the market leader, has a long way to go and the company is set to achieve more success in the future.
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