November/December 2010 issue - Whispering and shouting
Recently restructured, re-branded, and selected from a field of competitors for a prestigious partnership with LSG Sky Chefs, FORMIA Airline Supplies is on a roll. During the 2010 ITCA conference and trade show in Cologne, the re-vamped luxury amenity supplier hosted a well-attended event where high-living expert and CNNGo contributor Kristina Dryza talked about directions the luxury industry appeared to be taking.
Dryza educated the group on how to spot the difference between a trend and a fad, how to appeal to the emotions provoked by a product, rather than the desire to simply own the product itself, and how the modern consumer often prefers a 'whisper' over a 'shout' when it comes to name-branding merchandise. While Dryza's presentation was right on point in terms of consumer trends, the airline business will always have its own considerations.
"Airlines and travelers have become highly aware of the shift in luxury brands and the clear divide between 'shouting branding' and 'whispering branding'", says Yves Alavo, executive director of FORMIA. "Today our industry has airlines and passengers to appeal to each type of branding."
When working with notable fashion houses or cosmetics, says Alavo, it is equally important for the brand to reflect the character of the airline, as it is for the airline placement to respect the proposition and targets of the brand. FORMIA, which boasts an impressive portfolio of collaborators including globally recognized names like Ferragamo, Hermes and Chopard, takes care to develop kits in line with the selected brand positioning while meeting airlines and ultimately the travelers' expectations.
One thing that FORMIA is mindful to do is to partner with brands they feel have made competent marketing decisions."A brand that has been overexposed reduces the exclusivity perception, the one with a limited or inadequate product line, is challenged to innovate. FORMIA provides such brands with market insights and recommendations to meet Airlines expectations", Alavo suggests.
An emerging trend that Alavo has noted is that the modern luxury consumer is very much aware of his or her good fortune and is aware that such gifts have not befallen everyone. "Not all luxury consumers feel good about buying unnecessary things when people in the world are starving and environmental issues are on the rise" he reasons. "It doesn't always feel right. And so we are seeing a new kind of responsible luxury. Airlines are therefore also more conscious in the choice of the brands, the materials and concepts we develop with them."