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How Airlines are Catering to Millennials

Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are a demographic cohort referred to by some as the “Me, Me, Me Generation” – lazy, constantly seeking feedback and prone to jumping from job to job. Others see a group of liberal and upbeat people brimming with confidence and self-expression, who are most receptive to new ideas and ways of living. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, one undeniable trait of millennials is their enormous purchasing power.

For this reason, millennials are one of the most talked about and disruptive generations for businesses globally. Companies, some of which have been household names for generations, have had to fundamentally shift their company culture, redesign products and services, and adopt new, fluid sales channels to resonate with this increasingly important group. Airlines are no exception.

Take Joon, Air France’s new low-cost subsidiary, as an example. The airline launched last year and promises to offer “a global travel experience” as opposed to just a flight and a fare. Part of this experience, somewhat bizarrely, involves a troupe of flight attendants decked out in resplendent white trainers, blazers with rolled up sleeves, polo shirts and ankle-length trousers. However, the “experience” element of the new brand goes a little deeper than a chic uniform. All-too-aware that millennials have grown up with an unmatched presence of technology in their lives, Joon has crafted its in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) offering accordingly.

First, all seats are equipped with USB ports to allow in-flight charging of personal electronic devices (PEDs). While this is by no means unique, it does point to an understanding that in-flight Internet and wireless content streaming – both of which are being offered by Joon – go hand-in-hand with in-seat power. After all, who boards a plane with a smartphone or tablet that is fully charged? Millennials, who are the likeliest of all to have been glued to their phone on the way to the airport, at the airport, and in the departure lounge, cannot be expected to interact with on-board connectivity if their pocket friends are low on juice! Unfortunately, wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) and in-flight connectivity (IFC) are often deployed without any means to charge the devices that would be used to access these services.

Level, the low-cost arm of the International Airlines Group (IAG), has also put technology at the forefront of its marketing strategy. Its new on-board payment solution, Pair and Play, allows passengers to pay for food, drinks, Wi-Fi, amenity kits and duty-free goods by pairing their mobile devices to the seatback in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. According to Level, its passengers are largely millennials flying long-haul for the first time and being able to pay from their own device is a way for them to have more control of their own experience.

The word “experience” always features prominently in any marketing spiel explaining an airline’s approach to building rapport with millennials. The theory being that millennials, more so than any other demographic, are driven by an experience and being able to share that experience in the moment on social media. And this, in turn, drives greater recognition of the brand among the target audience and with it, customer loyalty and increased revenue.

Delta Air Lines has noticed younger consumers tend to prefer experiences rather than tactile goods, although it favours the term “Emerging High-Value Customers” (eHVCs) over “millennials”. The Georgia-based carrier sees eHVCs as being much more likely to purchase premium products that will enhance their travel experience and has embarked upon a strategy to attract these high-yield future consumers at an early stage. This is why it has placed so much emphasis on the provision of IFC (more than 1,000 planes are now equipped; many with Gogo’s high-speed 2Ku offering) as a way to take business from competitors who offer slow, unreliable Wi-Fi, or no Wi-Fi at all.

JetBlue Airways would doubtless agree about the importance of good-quality in-flight Internet. Its awarded-winning Fly-Fi service has proven extremely popular and has been credited with boosting the airline’s Net Promoter Score, which is a loyalty metric that measures a customer’s willingness to not only return for another purchase, but also make a recommendation to their family, friends or colleagues. Of course, JetBlue offers customers Fly-Fi for free, and very few airlines do that right now for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, the tech-savvy millennial is used to ubiquitous and free connectivity on the ground, so why should the aeroplane be any different? JetBlue has sought to offset the considerable costs involved with providing complementary IFC – its sponsorship with Amazon brings in valuable revenues and helps underpin the business model.

We are also seeing airlines having to adapt to the way in which millennials engage with content. American Airlines’ decision to forego seatback screens in favour of W-IFE on its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in mid-2017 raised questions from some about the future of traditional embedded systems. However, many carriers are installing W-IFE alongside seatback screens, especially on their long-haul aircraft. Philippine Airlines, for example, re-introduced embedded IFE systems onto its A330 aircraft in 2017, alongside ONAIR play, its W-IFE solution. One reason for this trend is to allow for ‘second-screening’, a habit most prevalent amongst millennials where people commonly use their PEDs while watching another screen.

Data science company, Black Swan Data, helped the aforementioned Level take second screening a stage further by enabling pairing of a PED directly to the seat-back system via Pair and Play. JetBlue, meanwhile, is using NFC as a binding technology on its newly-restyled A320s. This allows passengers to use their own devices as remote controls/gaming controllers, port Android-based applications and also, stream content to seatback displays.

IFE content is also changing to meet the needs of a younger audience rather than the baby-boomer generation as has been the case in years gone by. On wide-body aircraft, which typically fly routes long enough for people to watch a Hollywood movie, a growing proportion of the video content available is shorter-form with drama series, documentaries and long-running comedy shows becoming more and more popular. Medieval fantasy epic, Game of Thrones, political dramas like House of Cards, and zombie-apocalyptic horror, The Walking Dead, have all gained cult-like status in recent years and represent examples of the content today’s connected generation are enjoying on the ground. In addition, some companies have begun aggregating YouTube and Vimeo shorter snackable video content and offering customised TV channels to airlines. With this demographic expecting connectivity in the air to be more like it is on the ground, it makes sense that the content they view in the air should be of a similar nature to the content they view in their homes.

Next-generation IFEC systems are being architected so that passengers can create and sign into an IFEC account using their social media credentials, and with permission, these systems can learn even more about passengers from their online profile(s) or even the types of emails they send and receive. As a result, it becomes possible to present ads and content that are more compelling, rather than the same thing across the entire cabin. And this is what the millennial passenger expects – most actually embrace recommendation engines from the likes of Amazon and Netflix.

This familiarity with Amazon and Netflix also has an impact on the way in which GUIs are being designed. A good UI should be pretty, intuitive, snappy and put as little space as possible between the passenger and what he or she wants to watch. Delta Air Lines and Turkish Airlines have undoubtedly taken cues from the VOD giants with their recent GUI redesigns. The former’s new look IFE aims to bring important content to the highest levels for ease of access and feel “more like interacting with an iPhone.” The latter’s is the result of a study conducted by professional usability and user experience laboratories. One of the major updates is category filtering for movies or ratings of TV shows and movies from well-known database, Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

And there is much more to come. Virtual Reality (VR) is experiencing a second coming and is a technology many airlines are looking into today. Intriguingly, VR plays to the perceived traits of millennials as it allows passengers to escape the confines of the cabin and therefore the awkward conversation with a stranger, or family member, millennials supposedly prefer to avoid. Joon has committed to deploying SkyLights’ second-generation cinematic VR headset, AlloSky, this year.

In the coming years, we can expect to see more airlines redefine their brand, processes and service to capture the loyalty of millennials. This will become increasingly important and evident as the influence of millennials on economies across the world strengthens. One need only look to the much-changed retail sector and the disruption caused by Amazon to see that the adoption of technology will be fundamental to airlines delivering a passenger experience worth sharing and coming back for.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_imageframe image_id="4920|full" max_width="" style_type="" blur="" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="center" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" lightbox_image_id="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]http://217.199.187.200/valourconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Millennials-1024x530-1.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="default" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" sep_color="#ffffff" top_margin="20" bottom_margin="20" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" /][fusion_text] Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are a demographic cohort referred to by some as the “Me, Me, Me Generation” – lazy, constantly seeking feedback and prone to jumping from job to job. Others see a group of liberal and upbeat people brimming with confidence and self-expression, who are most receptive to new ideas and ways of living. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, one undeniable trait of millennials is their enormous purchasing power. For this reason, millennials are one of the most talked about and disruptive generations for businesses globally. Companies, some of which have been household names for generations, have had to fundamentally shift their company culture, redesign products and services, and adopt new, fluid sales channels to resonate with this increasingly important group. Airlines are no exception. Take Joon, Air France’s new low-cost subsidiary, as an example. The airline launched last year and promises to offer “a global travel experience” as opposed to just a flight and a fare. Part of this experience, somewhat bizarrely, involves a troupe of flight attendants decked out in resplendent white trainers, blazers with rolled up sleeves, polo shirts and ankle-length trousers. However, the “experience” element of the new brand goes a little deeper than a chic uniform. All-too-aware that millennials have grown up with an unmatched presence of technology in their lives, Joon has crafted its in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) offering accordingly. First, all seats are equipped with USB ports to allow in-flight charging of personal electronic devices (PEDs). While this is by no means unique, it does point to an understanding that in-flight Internet and wireless content streaming – both of which are being offered by Joon – go hand-in-hand with in-seat power. After all, who boards a plane with a smartphone or tablet that is fully charged? Millennials, who are the likeliest of all to have been glued to their phone on the way to the airport, at the airport, and in the departure lounge, cannot be expected to interact with on-board connectivity if their pocket friends are low on juice! Unfortunately, wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) and in-flight connectivity (IFC) are often deployed without any means to charge the devices that would be used to access these services. Level, the low-cost arm of the International Airlines Group (IAG), has also put technology at the forefront of its marketing strategy. Its new on-board payment solution, Pair and Play, allows passengers to pay for food, drinks, Wi-Fi, amenity kits and duty-free goods by pairing their mobile devices to the seatback in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. According to Level, its passengers are largely millennials flying long-haul for the first time and being able to pay from their own device is a way for them to have more control of their own experience. The word “experience” always features prominently in any marketing spiel explaining an airline’s approach to building rapport with millennials. The theory being that millennials, more so than any other demographic, are driven by an experience and being able to share that experience in the moment on social media. And this, in turn, drives greater recognition of the brand among the target audience and with it, customer loyalty and increased revenue. Delta Air Lines has noticed younger consumers tend to prefer experiences rather than tactile goods, although it favours the term “Emerging High-Value Customers” (eHVCs) over “millennials”. The Georgia-based carrier sees eHVCs as being much more likely to purchase premium products that will enhance their travel experience and has embarked upon a strategy to attract these high-yield future consumers at an early stage. This is why it has placed so much emphasis on the provision of IFC (more than 1,000 planes are now equipped; many with Gogo’s high-speed 2Ku offering) as a way to take business from competitors who offer slow, unreliable Wi-Fi, or no Wi-Fi at all. JetBlue Airways would doubtless agree about the importance of good-quality in-flight Internet. Its awarded-winning Fly-Fi service has proven extremely popular and has been credited with boosting the airline’s Net Promoter Score, which is a loyalty metric that measures a customer’s willingness to not only return for another purchase, but also make a recommendation to their family, friends or colleagues. Of course, JetBlue offers customers Fly-Fi for free, and very few airlines do that right now for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, the tech-savvy millennial is used to ubiquitous and free connectivity on the ground, so why should the aeroplane be any different? JetBlue has sought to offset the considerable costs involved with providing complementary IFC – its sponsorship with Amazon brings in valuable revenues and helps underpin the business model. We are also seeing airlines having to adapt to the way in which millennials engage with content. American Airlines’ decision to forego seatback screens in favour of W-IFE on its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in mid-2017 raised questions from some about the future of traditional embedded systems. However, many carriers are installing W-IFE alongside seatback screens, especially on their long-haul aircraft. Philippine Airlines, for example, re-introduced embedded IFE systems onto its A330 aircraft in 2017, alongside ONAIR play, its W-IFE solution. One reason for this trend is to allow for ‘second-screening’, a habit most prevalent amongst millennials where people commonly use their PEDs while watching another screen. Data science company, Black Swan Data, helped the aforementioned Level take second screening a stage further by enabling pairing of a PED directly to the seat-back system via Pair and Play. JetBlue, meanwhile, is using NFC as a binding technology on its newly-restyled A320s. This allows passengers to use their own devices as remote controls/gaming controllers, port Android-based applications and also, stream content to seatback displays. IFE content is also changing to meet the needs of a younger audience rather than the baby-boomer generation as has been the case in years gone by. On wide-body aircraft, which typically fly routes long enough for people to watch a Hollywood movie, a growing proportion of the video content available is shorter-form with drama series, documentaries and long-running comedy shows becoming more and more popular. Medieval fantasy epic, Game of Thrones, political dramas like House of Cards, and zombie-apocalyptic horror, The Walking Dead, have all gained cult-like status in recent years and represent examples of the content today’s connected generation are enjoying on the ground. In addition, some companies have begun aggregating YouTube and Vimeo shorter snackable video content and offering customised TV channels to airlines. With this demographic expecting connectivity in the air to be more like it is on the ground, it makes sense that the content they view in the air should be of a similar nature to the content they view in their homes. Next-generation IFEC systems are being architected so that passengers can create and sign into an IFEC account using their social media credentials, and with permission, these systems can learn even more about passengers from their online profile(s) or even the types of emails they send and receive. As a result, it becomes possible to present ads and content that are more compelling, rather than the same thing across the entire cabin. And this is what the millennial passenger expects – most actually embrace recommendation engines from the likes of Amazon and Netflix. This familiarity with Amazon and Netflix also has an impact on the way in which GUIs are being designed. A good UI should be pretty, intuitive, snappy and put as little space as possible between the passenger and what he or she wants to watch. Delta Air Lines and Turkish Airlines have undoubtedly taken cues from the VOD giants with their recent GUI redesigns. The former’s new look IFE aims to bring important content to the highest levels for ease of access and feel “more like interacting with an iPhone.” The latter’s is the result of a study conducted by professional usability and user experience laboratories. One of the major updates is category filtering for movies or ratings of TV shows and movies from well-known database, Internet Movie Database (IMDb). And there is much more to come. Virtual Reality (VR) is experiencing a second coming and is a technology many airlines are looking into today. Intriguingly, VR plays to the perceived traits of millennials as it allows passengers to escape the confines of the cabin and therefore the awkward conversation with a stranger, or family member, millennials supposedly prefer to avoid. Joon has committed to deploying SkyLights’ second-generation cinematic VR headset, AlloSky, this year. In the coming years, we can expect to see more airlines redefine their brand, processes and service to capture the loyalty of millennials. This will become increasingly important and evident as the influence of millennials on economies across the world strengthens. One need only look to the much-changed retail sector and the disruption caused by Amazon to see that the adoption of technology will be fundamental to airlines delivering a passenger experience worth sharing and coming back for. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Technology Companies Lead Business Sectors in 2016

I recently came across an article informing me that the technology industry market value had overtaken the finance and energy industries. It stated the technology sector is worth $3.0 billion, business to consumer finance sector $2.7 billion, and consumer goods sector $2.6 billion.

In the piece, an infographic showed the three most valuable companies in the world. Exxon Mobile, Walmart and PetroChina in 2009, in respective order and today’s top most valuable companies, Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft. Microsoft has been in the top ten since 1996 and Apple has been in there since2010. Note that these are still not the largest companies by revenue. Those companies are still in Retail and Big Oil.

We can take snapshots from history and look at what have inspired investors to part with their money. In 1955, the three most valuable companies in the US were General Motors, Exxon Mobil and US Steel. Big oil and cars remain the biggest companies for the next three decades but steel slowly fades away to be replaced by shopping giant Walmart while all the top tech companies are gradually creeping up the list. What is notable about the tech companies is the market fluctuation depending on the success or failure of their latest product offering – not really a problem suffered by Big Oil or even by the financial giants such as the Banks of China

All this is small fry when compared with the private wealth held by the Rothchilds or the Rockefellers but their holdings are diverse and they influence are lives in a different way.

Drifting back to the purpose of this piece, it is quite easy, in my opinion, to see how technology has become omnipresent in our lives today.

Enterprise and consumer technologies and work practices have changed incredibly in the last eight years. Mobile computing has enable companies to adopt a remote working culture for a large chunk of their employees.

Making savings on expensive large office rentals, amenities and other unnoticeable yet costly building management services.

Even better for employees, workers no longer need to confine themselves to crammed working conditions in cities or towns around the country.

We no longer need to travel extensively for informal meetings and simply can have a telephone conference using such platforms as Skype. This obviously reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and also saves time and traveling costs.

Smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone, play a role of paramount importance in our lives. From tracking the minutes of walking, exercise activity, to the number of steps we have taken upon this planet. Maybe Tim Peake, the British Astronaut, could argue against that former point.

Mobile operating systems like Apple’s iOS or Android’s Play enable us to access a plethora of services that only the bulky heavy Yellow Pages could hope to almost rival. Additionally, the device apps allow us to access to the daily news, information on hobbies, search references and even express ourselves and listen to others on social media. And this does not include the initial purpose of a phone, to simply call and message people.

Technology has empowered our generation. However, this is not all.

These companies are also heavily involved in other new initiatives that will revolutionise our lives further.

In less than five years, we will witness the legal licensing of driverless cars. Last year, I spent over £2,300 on Uber taxis. Four years of my taxi outlay would easily cover the cost of me purchasing a car with driverless capabilities.

We will see a far greater deployment of commercial unmanned aerial vehicles. Delivering our goods, undertaking engineering and service checks, and augmenting the offerings of many other businesses.

Also, the era of self-automated robotics has started; we will foresee the elimination of menial and laborious tasks taken over by robots. This will enable people to be much more flexible and freer to undertake other activities and progress further. We will see technology companies account for the majority of large corporate giants around the world.

The world is becoming much more transparent, and free flowing in ideas. Technology will provide the backbone for tracking the small details, allowing us to focus on bigger matters. A good example would be the adoption of body-worn cameras could eventually lead to police officers not having to write down a demanding report at the end of their shifts. The video footage and some commentary, from the officers, would suffice.

Of course, this is all surface decoration and could disappear overnight if the economic fundamentals are not there. A huge economic crash and the resulting social unrest, even war, could destroy our dreams and the tools we have to realise them. We live comfortable wired lives at the moment. We must make every effort to keep them.

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I recently came across an article informing me that the technology industry market value had overtaken the finance and energy industries. It stated the technology sector is worth $3.0 billion, business to consumer finance sector $2.7 billion, and consumer goods sector $2.6 billion. In the piece, an infographic showed the three most valuable companies in the world. Exxon Mobile, Walmart and PetroChina in 2009, in respective order and today’s top most valuable companies, Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft. Microsoft has been in the top ten since 1996 and Apple has been in there since2010. Note that these are still not the largest companies by revenue. Those companies are still in Retail and Big Oil. We can take snapshots from history and look at what have inspired investors to part with their money. In 1955, the three most valuable companies in the US were General Motors, Exxon Mobil and US Steel. Big oil and cars remain the biggest companies for the next three decades but steel slowly fades away to be replaced by shopping giant Walmart while all the top tech companies are gradually creeping up the list. What is notable about the tech companies is the market fluctuation depending on the success or failure of their latest product offering – not really a problem suffered by Big Oil or even by the financial giants such as the Banks of China All this is small fry when compared with the private wealth held by the Rothchilds or the Rockefellers but their holdings are diverse and they influence are lives in a different way. Drifting back to the purpose of this piece, it is quite easy, in my opinion, to see how technology has become omnipresent in our lives today. Enterprise and consumer technologies and work practices have changed incredibly in the last eight years. Mobile computing has enable companies to adopt a remote working culture for a large chunk of their employees. Making savings on expensive large office rentals, amenities and other unnoticeable yet costly building management services. Even better for employees, workers no longer need to confine themselves to crammed working conditions in cities or towns around the country. We no longer need to travel extensively for informal meetings and simply can have a telephone conference using such platforms as Skype. This obviously reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and also saves time and traveling costs. Smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone, play a role of paramount importance in our lives. From tracking the minutes of walking, exercise activity, to the number of steps we have taken upon this planet. Maybe Tim Peake, the British Astronaut, could argue against that former point. Mobile operating systems like Apple’s iOS or Android’s Play enable us to access a plethora of services that only the bulky heavy Yellow Pages could hope to almost rival. Additionally, the device apps allow us to access to the daily news, information on hobbies, search references and even express ourselves and listen to others on social media. And this does not include the initial purpose of a phone, to simply call and message people. Technology has empowered our generation. However, this is not all. These companies are also heavily involved in other new initiatives that will revolutionise our lives further. In less than five years, we will witness the legal licensing of driverless cars. Last year, I spent over £2,300 on Uber taxis. Four years of my taxi outlay would easily cover the cost of me purchasing a car with driverless capabilities. We will see a far greater deployment of commercial unmanned aerial vehicles. Delivering our goods, undertaking engineering and service checks, and augmenting the offerings of many other businesses. Also, the era of self-automated robotics has started; we will foresee the elimination of menial and laborious tasks taken over by robots. This will enable people to be much more flexible and freer to undertake other activities and progress further. We will see technology companies account for the majority of large corporate giants around the world. The world is becoming much more transparent, and free flowing in ideas. Technology will provide the backbone for tracking the small details, allowing us to focus on bigger matters. A good example would be the adoption of body-worn cameras could eventually lead to police officers not having to write down a demanding report at the end of their shifts. The video footage and some commentary, from the officers, would suffice. Of course, this is all surface decoration and could disappear overnight if the economic fundamentals are not there. A huge economic crash and the resulting social unrest, even war, could destroy our dreams and the tools we have to realise them. We live comfortable wired lives at the moment. We must make every effort to keep them.