EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: This thesis aims to investigate how the creation of unique customer experiences can strengthen the customerbrand- relationship and lead to increased loyalty for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). This is relevant for SAS as SAS has difficulties in competing on ticket prices alone with the low cost carriers. As a consequence, SAS needs to compete on other parameters, such as the experience of traveling itself, to be competitive in the market. How SAS can create customer experiences that differentiate them from the low cost carriers was analysed through theory within the areas of Customer Relationship Management, Customer Experience Management, branding and loyalty. Especially theory within Customer Experience Management was used as strategic tools to create memorable and unique customer experiences that could lead to increased loyalty. An online survey was conducted in order to measure the customer-brand-relationship. The data from the survey was statistically tested in SPSS and SmartPLS. The data analysis showed that the customer-brand-relationship was simultaneously influenced by rational and emotional brand responses. A Brand Equity Map was created in order to provide knowledge about the concrete strategic actions that would improve customer-brand relationships most advantageously. The Brand Equity Map showed that the emotional aspect was of biggest influence on the customer-brand-relationship. The strategic actions should therefore be developed with the purpose of increasing the emotional connection between SAS as brand and the customers. The strategic actions aimed to increase the emotional connection by implementing five Strategic Experiential Modules: SENSE, FEEL, THINK, ACT and RELATE. By implementing these modules interdependently through marketing campaigns, SAS can create a holistic customer experience that can lead to increased customer loyalty. It was concluded that in the short run, SAS should implement sensory marketing (SENSE) and build campaigns that appeal to Scandinavians’ feelings towards Scandinavia (FEEL). If these campaigns were successfully implemented, SAS should continue with campaigns that appeal to the customer’s underlying perceptions of SAS’ business model (THINK). Hereafter, SAS should create a social hype around social dumping which, if successfully implemented, could lead to a broader social and cultural context (RELATE). If successful, SAS has created a holistic experience that would increase customer loyalty and differentiate them from the low cost carriers. By doing so, SAS could obtain sustainable competitive advantages.
|Educations||MSc in Economics and Marketing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||118|