DEVELOPING THE ‘RB’ BRAND

Written by root. Posted in IN PERSON

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Published on November 03, 2019 with No Comments

Royal Brunei recently underwent a branding exercise to convey its core values and DNA for a more engaged experience. MUHIBAH speaks to the duo spearheading this exciting new campaign – James Millett, RB Senior Vice President Digital and Marketing, and Tanuj Philip, Founding Partner and CEO of M&C Saatchi – to understand the RB Brand transformation process and what it aims to achieve.

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What makes a brand memorable? That it speaks to its audience and makes a lasting impression with what it is intending to deliver as well as represent. Very few brands do a good job at making this impression but the result of good branding is priceless – your audience remembers you and stays loyal while potential ones are eager to try you out.

Royal Brunei underwent a recent exercise to enhance its existing brand DNA as part of its effort to connect with current and future guests as well as with the global community as a whole. “It has been a huge few years for the airline – launching a significant number of new routes internationally as well as focusing (and being recognised for) the amazing hospitality our crew provide. Now the time is right to tell this story louder and clearer than ever to support a key time in the brand’s development and growth. Ultimately, we want to help more people understand who Royal Brunei is and what we stand for so they will fly with us more often to more places!” says James Millett, Senior Vice President Digital and Marketing.

Millett, together with Tanuj Philip, Founding Partner and CEO of M&C Saatchi (the creative agency involved with the campaign), share some details of the RB brand concept.

First, the buzz about Royal Brunei (RB) as a “world class boutique airline”. What will this mean to RB’s guests, travellers, partners and Brunei?
The host of awards we have won this year in recognition of our products, services and hospitality has firmly put RB in a club of top international airlines. The team at RB can rightly hold our heads high with what has been achieved and the service we provide
to guests from Brunei and all international markets.Of course staying world class does not mean standing still. We have a wealth of projects and initiatives to ensure we keep on improving our service and guest experience.

In addition, the boutique positioning of our brand recognises we are a small airline competing in a big market. To effectively do this we need to stand out from the crowd. I believe our personalised, warm and characteristic Bruneian hospitality is a key part of this. We want everyone involved in our brand to experience a unique, tailored experience that exceeds expectations.

What are some of the challenges Royal Brunei Airlines faces as a brand?
With 14 aircraft (even if it is one of the youngest fleets in the world), we are a small airline relatively speaking. One of our main challenges internationally is for guests to fly with us for the first time particularly if they are not based in Brunei or have not discovered the amazing country or Borneo island as a whole yet. Once they do, we hope our warm hospitality will win them over and keep them coming back. To get this message out there, we will be investing more in marketing, but even then it is relatively modest compared to some of the bigger players. We have a great team at HQ and across our markets, thinking differently and working hard to get this message out there. The more business partners and guests help us to do this, the stronger the brand will become.

Royal Brunei worked together with M&C Saatchi to come up with this latest brand direction. What is the result of this collaboration?
Our new campaign will focus on “the little things we do that make our service special”. Whether it is our crew supporting a young family or going the extra mile for a guest who requires special assistance, we will showcase what we stand for and how we stand out. What I love about this campaign is it feels like a natural evolution of where we have been and who we are. My family and I flew with Royal Brunei many times before we moved to Brunei and what we always felt was compared to the bigger international carriers the crew genuinely cared about our experience and were amazing when we flew with young children. In that context, what really sets us apart as an airline is the manner in which we go about doing things big and small that clearly makes us the better way to fly. As the national carrier, we reflect our Bruneian values in everything we do, the defining trait being the hospitality we provide to guests through the course of their journey with us.

Can you talk us through the whole “the little things we do that make our service special” concept?
As part of the campaign development process, we talked to guests, our crew, business partners and other stakeholders. We kept coming back to the same thing – it’s the little things we do. What is brilliant about this campaign is that it is not just marketing folks out there dreaming, using coloured Post-It notes and trying to come up with clever words! The reality is our amazing teams of crew, pilots, engineers and operations staff deliver this day in, day out – they are the real essence and heart of the Royal Brunei brand. This is why it is entirely natural that our new advertising features 25 of our very own Royal Brunei family. The advertising was filmed in Brunei working with experienced international and local partners, and we are very proud that our own people are at the forefront of telling our story of Bruneian hospitality to the world.

It is the little things that make a big difference and leave lasting impressions. And that is precisely what we strive to do as an airline. For us, there is no detail too small when it comes to looking after the needs of our guests. The campaign captures this unique aspect of the brand through the thought of “the little things we do.”

How do you plan to roll out the new branding?
We have two key video assets that bring to life the concept, one that tells the story of “the little things that make our service special” and one that goes deeper into who Royal Brunei is and what we stand for. We will amplify these through a TV sponsorship deal, digital media, our own digital channels and also have billboards and press advertising in key markets.

What do you hope to achieve with this campaign?
We want more people to realise that in Royal Brunei, they have a refreshingly different boutique option without having to choose between full-service airlines that cost the earth or low-cost carriers where making compromises is a given. We want them to experience for themselves the world-class service that we offer, and the convenience of reaching a host of destinations either direct or through convenient transit via Brunei. Ultimately, we want this campaign to drive business results for Royal Brunei and customer delight among our guests.

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