Marketing mix of British Airways (7Ps of British Airways)
This is a detailed analysis of the marketing mix of British Airways. It attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of the airline’s 7Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Process, People, and Physical Evidence). British Airways, a full-service airline, is headquartered in London. It is the flag carrier airline of the UK.
Products and services of British Airways
British Airways offers four different travel classes for its passengers i.e. Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First. While the Economy class provides value for money, the First class provides the finest experience with a number of premium products and services such as stylist suite, exclusive access to spa treatments, and fast-track security (British Airways, 2021).
The Economy class has two different services i.e. Euro Traveler and World Traveler. Refreshments, good baggage allowance, Wi-Fi, magazines, and fully moveable headrests are some of the products and services that come with both of the Economy services. This shows that though British Airways is positioned as a premium airline, it caters to different types of passengers.
It should be mentioned that the AirPortr service of British Airways picks up passengers’ bags from their home and check them in if they choose to use the service called ‘Check-in your bags from home’. However, this service is currently offered to the passengers in the UK only.
Pricing strategies of British Airways
As British Airways caters to different types of passengers, it can be argued that it pursues a differentiation pricing strategy. As discussed above, passengers depending on their economic circumstances, can chose a service they like e.g. Economy or First.
Further evidence of the differentiation pricing strategy is found in British Airways’ Economy World Traveler service which offers passengers two options i.e. Basic and Standard. Basic offers the lowest fare and is different from Standard on the basis that it comes with allocated seats, while Standard offers passengers an option to choose their own seats (British Airways, 2021).
Place/distribution channels of British Airways
The main hub of British Airways is at London Heathrow Airport. It also has a significant presence at Gatwick Airport. It flies to over 170 destinations around the world. Its top business destinations are San Francisco, New York, San Jose, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Austin (British Airways, 2021).
Booking a flight with British Airways can done via its official website. It also has an app that passengers can use to do a number of things e.g. booking a flight, checking-in, and downloading boarding passes for their flight. Likewise, many tour operators such as Expedia and travel agents also sell the services offered by the airline.
Promotional strategies of British Airways
British Airways uses both traditional and digital media such as TV advertisements, social media, billboards, and newspapers to promote its services. Its advertising budget is massive as well. It ran several celebrity-studded ad campaigns in the past.
However, Fleming (2019) argues that there is a gap between the airline’s message and what some of its stakeholders think and feel about it. Particularly, many customers, employees, and consumer watchdogs have raised concerns about the airline’s services. Therefore, Light (2020) recommends that British Airways needs to revitalize its brand image if it wanted to be ‘the world’s favourite airline’ again.
The official Facebook page of British Airways has 3.3 million followers which is indeed good. Its Instagram page has over 1 million followers. However, its YouTube channel has only 319 thousand subscribers. This shows that the airline needs to work more to improve its standing in some of the social media.
People strategies of British Airways
According to Mazareanu (2020) over 42,000 people work with British Airways. The airline claims that it values diversity in every sense and accommodates people with diverse backgrounds. Interestingly, it arranged the UK’s biggest ever all-female flight in March 2018 to observe International Women’s Day (British Airways, 2021).
However, in the in mid-2020, the airline announced cutting around 12,000 jobs including voluntary redundancy. Many employees did not agree with the decision and indeed said that they ‘felt forced to take redundancy’ (BBC, 2020).
Process in British Airways
Different functions of British Airways have different processes. For instance, passengers can check in online or at the airport. If they wish and pay for the service, their bags can be collected from their home and checked in. However, this service (AirPortr) in restricted to a limited number of locations.
Physical evidence of British Airways
Certainly, what British Airways aims to offer is excellent experience. A number of the physical elements such as the cabin design, look of the website, ambience of the fight, logo, and meals work together to achieve that goal.
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Last update: 24 February 2021
BBC (2020) British Airways: ‘I felt forced to take redundancy’, available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53687338 (accessed 20 February 2021)
British Airways (2021) About British Airways, available at: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/about-ba? (accessed 23 February 2021)
Fleming, M. (2019) British Airways needs to ensure its reality matches up to its advertising, available at: https://www.marketingweek.com/british-airways-customer-experience/ (accessed 22 February 2021)
Light, L. (2020) British Airways needs to revitalize its Brand, available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrylight/2020/08/14/british-airways-needs-to-revitalize-its-brand/?sh=1a6c8216747e (accessed 23 February 2021)
Mazareanu, E. (2020) British Airways Group: number of employees 2011-2019, available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1024207/british-airways-group-employees/ (accessed 20 February 2021)
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.