As consumers, we’re always seeking the next best way to simplify the way we go about our daily lives – the way we work, the way we play, the way we engage friends and family. Whether we know it or not, we are constantly challenging companies to find new ideas that keep us ahead of the game. With that being said, what can companies do to guarantee the output is reflective of, or creating shifts in their industry? Just look at how Uber changed the way we utilize transportation, how Airbnb made travel more accessible, or how Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV became media and entertainment companies. How can you capitalize on, or create this opportunity for your organization?
Associations need to look at what’s already been done and focus on what they still need to do. A first step is to measure member needs.
At the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) conference, Teague, a full-service design and innovation consultancy specializing in product, service and experience design solutions, did just that. They found that airlines frequently reinvent themselves with new paint jobs, logos, and various incentives. Yet those changes seldom address the headaches of air travel.
It’s a fact; airlines require improvement, and it’s a never-ending battle to figure out ways to make the travel experience better. At the APEX conference, a solution came in an innovative concept called Poppi, an idealized, contemporary, and functional airline with three thought-provoking designs for the future of air travel.
Banning carry-on luggage
Everyone identifies with trying to make their bag fit, whether it is under their seat or in the overhead compartment. But, what if you could ditch that heavy carry-on bag, and expedite boarding by 71 percent?
Not only does Poppi want to abandon those irritating carry-on bags, but they also want to check their customer’s bag, and deliver it to a passenger’s hotel room or home, reducing the number of missed connections between delayed flights.
Make the middle seats feel exclusive
Who likes flying in the middle seat? Poppi suggests making the middle seat a promotional seat. They would invite companies like Nike or Adidas to take that seat over, and offer an incentive to the customer who sits in that seat.
Encourage Amazon Prime-style membership
Poppi hopes to generate a membership program that will allow members to resell their seats instead of paying a change fee, or exchange seats (window for aisle) with other travelers.
This program is more profound than just offering passengers’ miles on credit cards. What if passengers could become yearly members to an airline, prepaying for certain privileges or number of flight? It would be something like crossing an NFL season ticket with Starbucks and Amazon loyalty programs.
These ideas came from Teague’s Principal Brand Strategist Devin Liddell, who said “When we think why we want to do it, it’s in some ways really straightforward, and it’s about the magic of belonging. I’m part of this team, this brand.”
So, how can your association shift from building for today’s needs, to tomorrows? The second step, instead of continuing the same upgrades and modifications, is to apply some creative design principles and go bold. Now that you have some feedback on what people want, observe their behaviors and design for what they didn’t say. Design for the “unexpected”. No one ever said they wanted a one-button phone, or a thousand songs in their pocket. Look for the experience and design that will give your consumers and/or members an “aha or wow” moment. Teague decided to shift their thinking to concentrate on what ticket buyers truly envied. Now, they can shift air travel in ways never before seen. While designing these approaches might take time, what your association makes from these shifts can have a huge impact.
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