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How a brilliant idea can be a missed opportunity

Last week I attended the #womma summit in Las Vegas. I flew over there with United Airlines. During the flight, I learned that United recently merged with Continental Airlines. At the beginning of the flight, I was positively surprised to see a short video of the CEO of United.

It’s brilliant: the CEO that speaks directly with its clients to explain the objectives of the merger. The story started really good: “Dear passenger, you will be so happy with the plans we have with our new airline (the merger of United & Continental. It will be a differentiating offer which will make all our passenger so happy.’ I was sitting at the edge of my chair, waiting for the unique positioning these airlines were about to reveal.

And then, time for a big disappointment. This is the description of this new unique concept: “we will be a reliable, safe airline with good customer service.” And…. And… And… nothing came. Wow, great, a reliable, safe airline with good customer service, that is really differentiating…

It’s such a missed opportunity. You let the CEO speak directly to all your passengers and you have the opportunity to ‘wow’ them. And then you present such a boring and 1000times heard before positioning. A real pity.

And then, during lunch, they bring you their napkins. And just look at the text. On their own napkins they are still competing with Continental, their current sister company.