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A thought-provoking question was raised recently I want to pose here: “What is the role of technology in a brand positioning?”
While at a recent breakfast, a Delta Air Lines senior marketing leader walked us through key messages shared at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The impact for the airline was unmistakable. In its 95th year of existence, Delta positioned itself as a technology innovator by landing these points (… landed, get it?):

  • Delta leveraged heartbeat analysis over the passenger journey to identify stress points – such as ticketing and baggage – and stress-lowering points, such as the drink cart (seriously) to identify pain points
  • One technology that will lower travel stress is Parallel Reality. You will soon be able to stay on top of relevant information throughout your air travel journey via several, large / public monitors that will display information specific and relevant to you only. Parallel Reality technology allows multiple passengers to view the same screen yet each will only see travel information tailored to their travel experience (i.e. specific passenger’s departure time & gate, directions to the gate, boarding updates). International passengers will even have tailored information in his/her preferred language, which reduces confusion in unfamiliar airports. Ultimately, passengers will spend less time frantically scanning monitors and more time for other activities (ex. F&B or bio breaks)
  • Cargo handlers will soon use employee exoskeletons based on the Sarcos’ Guardian XO, allowing 150 pounds to feel like 10 pounds
  • More specific to CES, Delta allowed badge pick-up at select origin airports, generating social media buzz before the CES even began

There was no question by the end of the breakfast the executive had won over this audience and that Delta achieved a major coup at CES. Of course, CES is just one part of the messaging to comprise the brand’s point of differentiation. The executive spoke also to non-technology elements such as focusing on inclusion, human empathy and the human connection.
Overall, Delta’s leadership believes technology can differentiate the passenger journey as technology will help “to serve, not to sell.” It is an enabler.
As a comparison, Wayfair places technology at the core of its brand, positioning it as a ‘technology company that happens to sell home goods.’
At ImagineX, we believe in both approaches for us and for our clients:

  • As core to the business and its branding; and/or
  • As an enabler to strengthening the brand such as differentiating customer service or accelerating executive decision making and security responses

And like Delta, we seek to use technology to “serve, not to sell” our clients.

Theron McLarty

Author Theron McLarty

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