Branding Satisfaction in the Airline Industry: a Comparative Study of Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia

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African Journal of Business Management Vol. 5(8), pp. 3410-3423, 18 April, 2011 Available online at ISSN 1993-8233 ©2011 Academic Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Branding satisfaction in the airline industry: A comparative study of Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia
Kee Mun, Wong* and Ghazali, Musa
Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Accepted 23 March, 2011

Brand is crucial in differentiating the superiority of products or services over others. This is an exploratory study examining the differences in brand satisfaction between Malaysian Airlines (full service airlines) and Air Asia (low cost airlines) in Malaysia. 350 usable
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The competition between Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia has been fierce in particular as regards the price factor. Air Asia has been aggressively promoting itself with the tagline of “Now Everyone Can Fly”. This has challenged the branding position of the long-known Malaysia Airlines. Both airlines serve different customers base and offer different services experience. However, this may not necessarily be true in the cases of domestic flights and some short distant international flights, where the services differentiation is rather minimal. Nevertheless, it is expected that the customer satisfaction level for both airlines is different as the customers’ perception on full service airlines and low cost airlines are different (O’Connell and Williams, 2005). As stated earlier, pricing strategy is the main way to differentiate between the two airlines in Malaysia. However, most airlines are aware that cost cutting may not be the only factor that contributes to an effective strategy. It is also important to differentiate themselves from their competitors by providing quality services that improve customers’ satisfaction. Based on previous studies, the airline industry has demonstrated that it is possible to achieve a clear differentiation through service brands (McDonald et al., 2001). Brands are increasingly seen as valuable assets which play an integral part in the marketing strategy (Lim and O’Cass, 2001; Morling and
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