Re-positionering af SAS: Hvordan SAS kan re-positioneres med fokus på det danske marked

Caspar Fenger & Jonas Meilgaard Jensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The aim of this thesis is to examine how SAS can reposition its corporate brand towards the Danish market. After years of fluctuating financial performances and intensively media attention with regards to the imminent bankruptcy in 2012, SAS has had severe difficulties to find back to its former position of strength. The airline industry has evolved significantly in terms of the entrance of numerous low cost carriers, which has affected the competitive market space to a great extent. The challenge for SAS is to convince the passengers that the flight is more about than just getting from A to B as cheap as possible. With guidance of theories within the fields of corporate identity and corporate image, SAS is analyzed to have issues with respect to its corporate image. While the corporate image is the perception of the brand in the minds of the consumers, this tells what kind of associations they have and how likely they are to buy products from the brand. In addition, the consumers associate SAS with business, which is rather what SAS used to be. The brand now presents itself as an airline for frequent travelers with services delivered the Scandinavian way. Further, gaps exist between the elements of vision, culture and image proposing an alignment of those gaps in order for SAS to strengthen its corporate brand. There needs to be an alignment in the things that SAS does, in order to create consistency and better consumer experiences, after all. According to Keller’s theory about the CBBE model, the brand has to be built on six elements to obtain a strong brand. In the sense that the consumers in our research have a high recognition and recall of the brand, SAS does have strong associations in their minds. Moreover it needs to differentiate itself from the competitors in the minds of the consumers to enhance the brand equity. Since the brand does not perform better on many parameters compared to competitors, it is hard for the consumer to justify a higher price if another cheaper airline company fulfills the needs. Additionally, the feelings aspect of the CBBE model is worth considering due to the unique associations it can help create. Finally, accepting the fact that SAS is not a low cost carrier, the airline company has to perform better on other parameters more relevant to it. As part of the corporate identity, SAS has a long history in the market, which can differentiate the brand from others. The heritage of SAS is characterized by values that identify who and what SAS is, giving the brand reliability and further possibility of creating lasting consumer relationships built on trust. Thus, enhancing the brand equity of SAS. The thesis therefore concludes that heritage possibly can have an affect on SAS’ corporate brand since its long history of serving passengers with punctuality and care indicates what SAS is capable of.

EducationsMSc in Economics and Marketing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages167