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A380 Demand Fails to Take-Off Despite Airbus’ Marketing Efforts

April 1, 2017 Aviation No Comments Email Email

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the brands of thousands of the world’s biggest companies. Brands are first evaluated to determine their power / strength (based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation) and given a corresponding letter grade up to AAA+. Brand strength is used to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand, which is projected into perpetuity to determine the brand’s value. The world’s most valuable aerospace and defence brands are ranked and included in the Brand Finance Aerospace & Defence 25 2017.

Airbus retained 2nd position in Brand Finance’s list despite a 10% fall in brand value to US$9.2 billion. The A380 superjumbo has been positively reviewed and well received, yet has been beset by problems and threatens to become an albatross around Airbus’ neck. Orders have disappointed with only a handful of Airlines such as Emirates fully committing to the model. Airbus has made concerted attempts to persuade customers with its marketing communications. In a mostly B2B sector, it has taken the innovative approach of reaching out to the consumer level to create demand for Airbus (and the 380 specifically) as an endorsement brand of Airline brands. Its visually stunning ‘A Family that Flies Together’ ad went viral, topping Campaign Magazine’s viral chart, an almost unheard of feat for a B2B brand. The ‘’ website was launched to encourage travellers to post Instagram pictures of their experiences on the A380. The impact of these initiatives is yet to be seen however but cannot come too soon, with an end to A380 production rumoured.

Boeing remains the world’s most valuable and strongest Aerospace & Defence brand with an increase in brand value of 17% to US$16 billion. The 737 Max model received a total of 3,419 orders and is Boeing’s fastest-selling plane. Boeing also signed a US$16 billion deal with Iran for 80 passenger planes, the biggest US-Iran deal since the Islamic revolution.

Northrop Grumman, another US giant, is the industry’s biggest riser this year with a 50% increase in brand value. The brand has been making headlines by beating Boeing and Lockheed Martin to a US$80 billion Long Range Strike Bomber contract for the U.S. Air Force.

Brazil’s Embraer had a good year with a sizable share of the midsize markets and orders of its well-priced Legacy Aircraft. It is set to fly its new E195 commercial jet sooner than expected, which could boost the order backlog for the jet. In 17th place with 10% brand value growth, alongside profits that exceeded expectations, the future looks positive for Embraer.

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